FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – A Frisco teacher’s aide was at work last week when she was struck by lightning, but the most shocking thing happened when the woman tried to pay her medical bills.
“It was bad out there,” Debra Anderhub remembered. “It was maybe the worst lightning storm I’ve ever seen.”
Even before the lightning bolt hit her, Anderhub said she had a bad feeling while outside of Rogers Elementary School in Frisco. The teacher’s aide had started her day on what’s called “car patrol” — helping special needs students get to class.
“When I turned around I felt the hair on the back of neck and my head stand up.”
A storm was overhead on the morning of March 20 and then there was the electrical discharge.
It wasn’t hard for the 52-year-old woman to recall the pain. “When it hit me I felt that I was on fire,” she said. “I felt like my eyes were laying on my cheek and my heart was exploding.”
Anderhub suffered bruising and serious burns to her hands and eyes. She believes her rubber soled boots and strong faith in God saved her life.
Given that Anderhub was at work when she was injured, you would think she would have no trouble getting financial help for her injuries… but that’s not the case.
The Frisco Independent School District makes insurance available for employees, but Anderhub wasn’t covered because she thought it was too expensive.
Without insurance coverage, Anderhub made her claim through the state’s workers compensation program. It was denied.
While Anderhub said she’s not bitter or angry, she admitted, “I’m very disappointed and I’m very hurt by it.”
Anderhub said she was told that acts of God are not covered by worker’s compensation. But an exception could be made if, “…the employment exposes the employee to a greater risk of injury from an act of God.”
While the medical bills pile up, pain from Anderhub’s lightning burns still haven’t subsided. To add insult to injury, Anderhub said she was particularly offended by the response of one Frisco ISD official.
“He made the statement ‘get your teachers at your school to take up a collection.’ That hurt me as much as the lightning strike, because it’s not my teacher’s responsibility.”
After what’s being called an act of God, Anderhub says she has no one else to turn to.
“It’s real disheartening and I just know God’s taking care of me, because this could have been a lot worse,” she said.
Neither the Frisco ISD nor state worker’s comp officials responded to CBS 11 News requests for comment.
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