This Latina Survived Two Tours In Iraq Then Got Struck By Lightning
Rosa Sanchez is a soldier from Fort Bragg, Texas who bravely served her country in two tours in Iraq.
After surviving one of the most dangerous places in the world, the Latina veteran had a near death experience once she returned to the United States.
In 2009, Sanchez was carrying her young son into a T.J. Maxx store when they were both struck by lightning.
Fay lightning strike victim Rosa Sanchez in critical condition at UNC; baby Alex is in fair condition. Sanchez is a Fort Bragg soldier.
— Jennifer Joyner (@JenniferJoyner) September 28, 2009
Sanchez and her son were both burned badly during the strike. “He was burned, but he was looking up at me and screaming,” Specialist James Van Dorn, also an Iraq veteran from Fort Bragg, Texas, told the U.S. Army. “My training tells me that is a good sign, so I passed the boy over to another bystander.”
The lightning bolt entered Sanchez’s right shoulder and went through to her left foot.
“When I got to her, I saw that she was on fire – her hair, her shirt,” Van Dorn told the U.S. Army. “It’s pouring rain and she was on fire. It just tells you how powerful lightning is. I took off my shirt and put her out as quickly as I could.”
And, in the process, the lightning bolt fused the underwire of her bra to one of her breasts.
Doctors had to remove some of her skin to remove the underwire. “When they [the doctors] cut the skin off it obviously made one side bigger than the other,” Sanchez said during her interview on the TV series “Botched By Nature.”
“When I look at my chest now, I don’t feel like myself. I can see that it’s different and I feel deformed.” Sanchez said the injuries prevented her from being active and led her to gain weight. The injury, combined with a previous tummy tuck procedure that wasn’t executed well, left her even more uncomfortable with her appearance.
On top of the physical damage, Sanchez’s memory was also affected.
Sanchez signed up for the TV series “Botched By Nature” to get help. Doctors gave her a breast augmentation and tummy tuck to fix some of the issues caused by the lightning strike and previous cosmetic surgery.
“It’s a new beginning and I’m in a happy place and I’m in a good place,” Sanchez told E! News. “And I think I’m ready for whatever comes.” The doctors were able to fix the failed tummy tuck by flattening her stomach and trimming down her sides. They were also successful in giving Sanchez a breast augmentation so her breasts matched in size.