Woman Recovers and Rock Climbs After Severe Electrocution of Hands

Melissa Strong


January 30, 2023

Melissa Strong: My name is Melissa Strong, I live in Estes Park, Colorado. I am a restaurateur. When I'm not working, I love to rock climb. On April second, 2017, I decided to do an electric burn called the Lichtenberg technique, and I did exactly what I was not supposed to do and I picked up both live leads exactly at the same time. And at that point, I was connected to the electric chain.

After the accident, the doctor said that odds were I would only have four fingers left. But they were going to transfer me to a different hospital where there was a plastic surgeon who has done wondrous things. However, he had seen the pictures, and he wasn't necessarily that optimistic. Exercise and fitness helped me stay somewhat positive. Though initially the exercising was just simply walking, eventually I would find an exercise bike.

I wasn't winning any races and I don't think I was doing anything truly cardio at that point. But once I started riding the bike, I realized, well, I could do abs and I could do some situps. After we got through so many surgeries, I got the OK to start pulling on things; climbing holds were the things that I wanted to pull on. Exercise and fitness over the last 5 years has helped save me and gave me, me.

Everything I love did not have to go away with that accident. And because I kept exercising and climbing and trying so hard, I was able to get that part of me back.

This video originally appeared on WebMD on January 26, 2023

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