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Man struck by lightning resuscitated

Year 1802

Read by Bryan Callum – Life Governor, Royal Humane Society

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April 12, 1802

Fakenham, April 19th

Dear Sir,

On the 12th April, a storm of hail suddenly came on, succeeded by a most vivid flash of lightening. — In about five minutes, I was requested to visit J. Mitchell, who was then struck dead with lightening ; and had been an apparent corpse half an hour. — A dead cold pervaded the body ; the pupils of the eye were much dilated ; the countenance exhibiting a ghastly appearance.

Visible marks of the electric fluid were on his knees, ankles, and feet, resembling those following the explosion of gunpowder. I commented with ardour the Resuscitation Plans recommended by the R.H.S. which, by assiduous perseverance, for three quarters of an hour, was productive of returning animation, convulsions, interrupted respiration, diffusion of the heat, and languid circulation. — My restored patient was confined to his bed some days ; but by medical attention his life and health was perfectly restored.


Fakenham, June 3rd, 1802
Addressed to the Managers


I am proud to acknowledge the receipt of the Medallion of the RHS and assure you , next to the satisfaction arising at the moment of the restoration of life, the honour conferred will be placed nearest my heart.

That an Institution so truly benevolent and so honourable to the British Nation, may meet with every possible success, is the earnest prayer of THOMAS EDGAR.

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