Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

De Soto man struck by lightning

April 12, 2001

A 46-year-old De Soto man is recovering in Overland Park Regional Medical Center after being struck by lightning Tuesday.

Rob Keehn was talking on a cell phone on the porch of the nearly finished home he and his wife, Pat, are building on Corliss Court, said L.D. Austin, Keehn's foster father and father-in-law. At about 4:30, a large bolt of lightning bounced off a metal valve about 20 feet in front of the porch and struck Keehn.

"He's doing pretty good right now," Austin said Wednesday morning. "He's awfully lucky. If it would have been a direct hit, he wouldn't be here.

"It melted the cell phone pretty good."

Keehn suffered only superficial burns, Austin said. He is, however, suffering neurological problems from the effects of the lightning bolt.

"A neurologist checked up on him this morning," Austin said. "He's jerking like he's having seizures, but the doctor thought he would be okay."

The victim's son, Craig Keehn, and Robert Freeman attended him until the ambulance arrived, Austin said. It is not known how long Keehn will remain in the hospital.

"We're talking about recuperating at this point of getting him back in a productive manner," Austin said.

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