Lightning strike survivor talks about recovery, hopes to inspire El Mirage teens hit during recent storm

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A West Valley man knows exactly what two teenage boys struck by lightning Wednesday night are going through.

Jaime Santana, 34, was struck by lightning two years ago, while horseback riding in Buckeye. He still has a lot of muscle weakness, numbness across his body, and 3rd degree burns over 30 percent of his body.

[ORIGINAL STORY: El Mirage PD: 2 teen boys struck by lightning]

But the Avondale dad is doing pretty well, considering what he went through.

 "My hands, all the way to my arms and legs, it's all numb," said Jaime. "If I try to walk, I can't feel my legs."

Jaime was in a coma for a month and in the hospital for 6 months, and his family wondered if he'd ever pull through.

[RELATED: Family of El Mirage teen that survived lightning strike says it was a 'miracle']

Alex Santana still has the clothes his brother was wearing when got hit with a billion volts of electricity.

There are still burn marks on Jaime's shirts and on his hat where the lightning shot through.

"Every time I look at this, I think he's a total miracle," said Alex. "I mean, especially the hat, that just blows me away. How somebody could survive that is a total miracle. He's blessed to be alive and we're happy he's here."

When Jaime and his family heard about the two 13-year-old boys being struck by lightning in El Mirage Wednesday night, it brought back a lot of painful memories about what they went through.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Monsoon 2018]

But they're also hoping it provides inspiration for the boys' families, to see how well Jaime is doing.

"Very few people ever get hit, and those that do get hit, very few survive, so he is a blessed man," said Alex.

"It wasn't my time to go I guess," said Jaime. "I'm here for a reason, it wasn't my time to go. Just wasn't my time."

The Santanas said they want to reach out to the families of the two boys struck by lightning to let them know they're not alone and that they will get through this. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Popular Stories

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio