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article imageCuban farmer has survived five lightning strikes

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 6, 2010 in World
Havana - A Cuban farmer has been struck by lightning five times over a period of 9 years; he has been injured, but miraculously survived in all cases without apparent consequences other than abnormal growth of his nails and hair.
Jorge Márquez, father of three, lives in the town of La Julia, Province of Las Tunas, about 650 km east of Havana. According to Periódico 26 (in Spanish) Márquez has been directly hit by lightning five times between 1982 and 1991.
Márquez was hit the first time in 1982 when he was driving his tractor, "It pierced my eardrums, it burned my back, scorched my hair, pulled the fillings out of my teeth and I had other injuries, but nothing too serious,” he said. “But the engine of the tractor was left completely useless” added the farmer.
He was again hit by lightning twice in 1987, then in 1988 and the fifth time in 1991. Only in the first two occasions he was taken to hospital unconscious, but since the third time he has become more tolerant, although he acknowledges feeling "great pain in the joints and respiratory discomfort." He describes the experience as: "it feels like a cold chill through the body”, and in some instances something “like inserting a hot iron in water”. Márquez believes that his body “seems to be adapting or perhaps I already carry the electricity inside me."
He claims that his yard and house has received lightning impacts in other 15 occasions in a period of two years: "I have come to believe that they persecute me; it’s not by chance that lightning fall so close to your house 15 times in less than two years”.
Although surviving 5 lightning strikes is an incredible feat, it is not a record. That accomplishment belongs to U.S. National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan who was struck by lightning seven times during his 35 year career. Sullivan survived many lighting strikes, but he could not resist the pain of unrequited love. He committed suicide in 1983, reportedly upset over the loss of a woman.
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