06/24/2014 03:54 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2014

Lightning Strike Knocks Man Out Of His Boots

Sean O'Connor is one lucky man.

The Atlanta-area resident was wearing steel-toed shoes and working in his yard Saturday when he was struck by a bolt of lightning. The lightning strike sent O'Connor flying -- right out of his boots, WSB-TV reports.

Initially, O'Connor said he wasn't sure what had happened. But, after seeing his smoking shoes, he realized he had just survived a lightning strike.

"When I noticed my shoes were on the other side of the driveway and I heard the thunder, I realized it was lightning that had just hit me," O'Connor told ABC News.

Emergency room doctors confirmed as much after the Georgia man went to the hospital. However, O'Connor said they initially didn't believe his story.

"At first they didn't believe me, but when I showed them the singed hair on my legs and the boots they all wanted to shake my hand. They said they'd never met someone who lived after being struck by lightning," O'Connor told WXIA‑TV.

An electrocardiogram scan later revealed that O'Connor had an irregular heart rate -- a condition associated with injuries from lightning strikes. Doctors reportedly held him overnight for observation, but allowed O'Connor to return home the next day.

While the chances that someone will be struck by lightning in a given year are very low -- one in 1 million is the National Weather Service's count -- lightning does strike humans from time to time, and it is possible to survive. Under the most recent estimates, lightning strikes kill about 24,000 people worldwide per year and injure about 240,000 people, according to LiveScience.



Storm Chaser Catches Lightning