By Sarah Francis
A mum who survived being hit by lightning has made a miraculous recovery and revealed her traumatic experience, one year on.
Amy Castanon, 30, was walking her dog in Bayard, New Mexico when she was struck and had to be resuscitated by her husband.
She broke her nose and rib from the fall, suffered first degree burns, her hair had to be shaved where it had singed, and she was also left with two broken ear drums.
After a three month hospital stint, Amy had to relearn to walk and take care of herself again.
Now she has taken up a work-out routine and is beginning to regain her energy and strength, while losing the weight she gained while in hospital.
Amy said: “It’s very surreal and at the same time very real.
“From the lightening itself, it stopped my heart and gave me a small brain haemorrhage.
“I look at my scars and I don’t feel like a 30-year-old, I feel like I am a much older lady.
“I have trouble with memory and lose train of thought – they compare it to head trauma.
“That’s the hardest part, I get tired and I feel like I am not the mum I used to be.”
On August 28th 2016, Amy took her seven-month-old puppy Mila for a walk, a route she often took with her daughter.
Amy, a full time mum of three, said: “I didn’t take her that day, I am so grateful that she didn’t go.
“I remember it was a beautiful day, a bit cooler than usual and there were clouds.
“About a mile down the road my husband texted saying it was thundering.
“I replied saying I was fine and that’s the last thing I remember. Everything else I know is from what people have told me.”
Amy’s husband, David, 28, drove to pick her up but when he got to their meeting place and she wasn’t there, he looked out into the distance and saw a body on the ground.
She added: “A millions things ran through his head, he didn’t want to believe it was me.
“He raced over and saw me faced down on the ground. He just knew I was dead at that point.
“I had a baseball cap on it exploded, my clothes were ripped off my shoes were off, there was a smell of smoky ness. ”
David called an ambulance and started CRP until a passerby who happened to be a nurse stopped and took over.
She was taken to a local hospital and placed into a coma for three days.
She said: “Everyone thought I was dead, when they heard it was lightning they didn’t think I would survive.”
“I believe it was a miracle. If my husband hadn’t been there, and if the nurse hadn’t stop or the ambulance have come so quickly. Everything happened to be there that day to save me.”
Thankfully, the family dog Mila, who was knocked unconscious by the lightning, was also taken care of and pulled through.
Amy added: “Things have slowly gone back to normal. I do activities with the kids, I try to be a mum.
“I am back to laundry and cooking, though I tire easily and need breaks.
“Almost a year on, I don’t want to go depressed.
Since January she has begun to work out everyday at home and lost 30lbs.
She added: “I started with simple excerise around the house, using small weights.
“I’ve made huge progress, I’ve been as active as I could have been.”
She credits her family and especially her husband for their support.
She said: “I know am I rare person, we don’t expect for this to happen. I felt more hurt for my family.
“They saw me struggle for a long time.
“At the very beginning it was very hard for David, he had nightmares, he couldn’t get the picture of me dead.
“He was living with guilt, and depression but as a family we have been pulled together. It has brought us very close.”
Amy claimed the experience has shown her not to take life for granted.
She added: “I was dreading turning 30, I didn’t want to be 30, I wanted to be young but now I am so grateful, to be here, to be 30 to be with the kids. I am so happy to be here.”