SURF CITY, NC - (WECT) - Police officers say Demitri Khorokhorim and his wife Yuliana Kukharenka say they were walking on the beach when lightning struck Demitri. The shock was so strong, it also hit Yuliana who was holding Demitri's hand.
Now, Demitri is speaking out and thanking those that saved his life, saying he wouldn't be here today if it weren't for them.
"The most important thing is we are here, we are alive," said Yuliana. She says one minute they were walking on the beach and the next she heard a staticy sound, then wound up in the sand feet away from Demitri.
"The next second I see him lying in front of me in the sand and I start calling his name and he's not answering," said Yuliana. She remembers every horrific detail. "When I got to him on my knees and I rolled him over, he was completely purple and blue, his eyes were open, he was lifeless, it was horrible" said Yuliana.
Demitri says he only remembers the pain that followed, "Everything hurt and nothing can touch you and it's always there. It's hard to describe, everything hurts," said Demitri. He says anytime something touched his body it burned, even today more than three weeks later he still had to hold his shirt away from his body because of the pain.
He and Yulie say they are just thankful for the strangers on the beach that rushed to their rescue.
"It's amazing that people were there on the beach and that people heard me," said Yuliana. "I wasn't breathing for 6 minutes so everyone who was involved, I greatly appreciate, it's amazing," said Demitri.
The couple says because of all of the medical costs, they have started a fund to help pay for them. It's called Miracle on the Beach and is set up at the PNC Bank in Wilmington.
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