Hawaii man survives lightning strike, then beats COVID-19


HONOLULU (KHON) – They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but maybe bad luck does.

Aumauinuuese Puni was suddenly struck by lightning while standing on a rooftop in April of 2020. He was on the roof of a building in Waikiki where he worked and was doing a Facebook Live streaming the view from Diamond Head during some rainy weather.

At the start of his livestream, he briefly mentions the possibility of being struck by lightning while standing out in the open. Shortly after, Puni found himself in that exact situation when lightning struck his body, causing him to drop his phone.

He said he felt the impact for at least 15 minutes after and his sneakers were scorched.

Then in January, a family member’s co-worker was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. The entire family got tested and found that they all had contracted the virus, even Puni.

Lightning survivor Aumauinuuese Puni’s sneaker damaged on the night of the lightning strike, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2020 (Aumauinuuese Puni)

The 51-year-old tested positive on Jan. 9 and within weeks found himself in the hospital battling COVID-19 complications.

After several days, Puni was released from the hospital. He urges everyone to do their part to stay safe and healthy.

He’s especially thankful to his wife Lelia Puni, Blaise Heneralau, his Aunt Elsie, Prior Vision and the Samoan Polynesian community.


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