‘I died:’ Lake Nona woman struck by lightning speaks about experience

Rebecca Soto suffered lightning strike while walking her dog in August

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – More than a month ago, Lake Nona resident Rebecca Soto was struck by lightning while out walking her dog.

Her husband told News 6 that he found her lying face-down on the sidewalk outside of their home, and she was rushed to the hospital.

“Somewhere in between them picking her up and the ambulance ride, her heart had stopped, and they were able to defibrillate her and bring her back,” her husband explained back in August.

Rebecca Soto was hospitalized after being struck by lightning back in August. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Now, Soto is recovering at her home, and she discussed the ordeal with News 6 on Wednesday.

She said the whole experience was surreal.

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“I just keep coming back to the word grateful — grateful, and very fortunate to be where I am today and have healed as much as I have in the past three or four weeks,” Soto said.

Soto suffered some memory loss issues in the aftermath of the lightning strike, though her recovery has progressed dramatically.

“I’ve seen pictures, heard stories and stuff, and just through it all, I’ve felt really grateful to be here where I am,” she explained.

She’s also thankful for family and friends who stood by her in the hospital, though the whole ordeal has been a lot to take in.

“It’s an astounding thing to realize and to think about,” Soto said. “Just like, that thought of like, ‘I died.’ That’s pretty heavy. Like, that’s a lot to process.”

The couple said this terrifying experience has given them a deeper appreciation for the little things.

“Little moments where we’re at home on the couch eating dinner, watching TV and laughing at the same thing,” Rebecca Soto said.

Her husband said he can’t take any of those moments for granted.

Since being out of the hospital, Soto has been able to accomplish daily tasks like driving, playing outside with her dog and going back to work.

She said all of this would not be possible without every person who lent a hand from the moment she was struck by lightning.

“Just wanted to give a thank you to everyone that helped us along the way,” Rebecca Soto said.

Soto added that she’s more mindful of storms, and if she hears thunder, she tries not to go outside.

The couple is now trying to pay the medical bills accrued during Rebecca’s time in the hospital.

If you want to help, you can donate to their GoFundMe.

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About the Authors:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.