Frisco Teacher’s Aide Hit By Lightning, Then Medical Bills

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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Comments

One Comment

  1. LynnM says:

    Workers comp should be forced to cover the medical bills !!! She was outside doing her job !!

  2. JagFrisco says:

    Too bad it is not 2014, and then she could have been able to puchase lower cost insurance, a provision of Obamacare. Then she would have had good medical coverage.

  3. Betty Ann Wonderly says:

    This is why the health care mandate is needed. Health insurance is now expensive because so many people do not purchase it. Unless everyone is covered then costs are out of control. I simply do not understand why this is an infringement on anyone’s freedom. You are required to have car insurance. Everyone is going to need health care and without insurance the tax payers pick up the bill. It is definitely sad that her expenses are not covered. Someone will pay for these because of the publicity. However, what about all those you do not hear about. When they have to go to the ER for treatment it is the most expensive way to get health care.

  4. sara n says:

    yep, another example of how Obamacare would help.

    1. Jerry Simons says:

      Sara N, I highly recommend you take a moment to read the comment left by Betty Ann Wonderly. Too many have fallen for the political disinformation campaign being waged in Washington. Unless, of course, you are one of those who can afford health care no matter the cost, and have no care in the world for those less fortunate than yourself.

  5. Frank T. says:

    They could pay her bills…let the half-million bucks a year suits take up a collection. But they won’t because they believe they are intrinsically better than the rest of us!

  6. Seth D. says:

    Isn’t it ironic that so many have fought to take “GOD” out of the school system, out of the pledge of allegiance, and even keeping kids from praying over their lunches, but when something this occurs and they can find a loop-hole to keep them from having to do the RIGHT THING, they are soooo QUICK to throw “GOD” back into the mix. All I can say is THANK GOD she is still alive and doing well, even without the help that she not only NEEDS, but I believe DESERVES.

  7. Nancy Larsen says:

    I work for the Office of Injured Employee Counsel. We are a State agency that was created to provide free assistance to injured employees in the State of Texas. Just because the insurance company denies a claim doesn’t make it a done deal. The denied party has the right to go through the dispute resolution process, which is something our agency can help with. If Ms. Anderhub would like assistance, please contact me.

    1. Cheryl ENgel says:

      Would you please contact me with your email and phone? We are a gourp of Rogers Elementary moms that want to assist Mrs Anderhub

  8. Shirley Laubscher says:

    I agree with Nancy Larsen and also would like to include our union email (I am also a special ed aide for a North TX school district and I was also required to be out in that horrible storm 3/20): uea@ueatexas.com I have emailed them tonight to advice me on how to legally refuse going out in a storm labeled “severe” with “multiple cloud to ground strikes” and a warning to “remain indoors”.

  9. R HARDY says:

    THAT CANNOT BE DECLARED AN ACT OF GOD. GOD IS A THEORY AND IS NOT PROVEN. THEREFORE NOT LEGAL FOR THE CLAIM TO BE REFUSED. SHE NEEDS TO GET A LAWYER AND FIGHT THAT. YOU COULD PLEAD A BETTER CASE FOR EVOLUTION THAN YOU COULD FOR GOD.. MY FATHER-IN-LAWS HOUSE GOT HIT BY A CAR WHOSE DRIVER HAD A HEART ATTACK . MY FATHER-IN-LAW FILED A CLAIM AND THEY DENIED IT CLAIMING IT WAS AN ACT OF GOD. HIS LAWYER TOLD THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO PROVE THERE WAS A GOD .THEY COULDN’T AND THE COURT RULED IN FAVOR OF MY FATHER-IN-LAW.

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