(CNN) — A woman is sharing the story of her road to recovery nearly two months after being struck by lightning at the Country Thunder Music Festival in Wisconsin.
22-year-old Brittney Prehn was struck by lightning on July 20. She says that day changed her life forever.
“Coming here, I felt a little bit weird,” Prehn said, walking on the grounds where she was struck, two months later. “I didn’t know how I would react, but it didn’t phase me. I checked the weather a bunch, but I wasn’t too nervous.”
Prehn says she checks the weather constantly ever since the incident. She was talking on her cell phone when she was struck.
Doctors told her that the phone helped save her life. “They said it helped because I got directly hit, but the phone took part of the hit and that’s why my phone got thrown and there are two holes in the ground,” she said.
The lightning hit the right side of Brittney Prehn’s head, traveled through her body, and exited through her right foot. She was in the intensive care unit for about a week, suffering from fractures in her head, bleeding in her brain, burns, and injuries that left her without hearing in her right ear.
She has partial hearing in her left ear, which she cups to hear better. She also has paralysis on the right side of her face and pain in herhips that makes it difficult for her to walk.
“You’ll see me stomp my foot or grab my foot or jump because I will feel electric shoot through my foot. Then my eye doesn’t close all the way, but that’s because my nerves are still not connecting,” she explained.
After two surgeries, Prehn began physical and speech therapy, which she attends four times a week.
Her mother, Lisa, is on a leave from her job as a school bus driver to help care for her daughter.
“From the time she woke up,” said Lisa Prehn, “she’s been a trooper. They explained she looks great on the outside, but the inside is still swollen.”
One year from now, Brittney said her goal is to be back in college, studying to become a special education teacher. She plans to return to Country Thunder next summer, saying she does not want her injuries to stop her from going to something she loves.