The Goliad resident was struck by lightning as he was leaving the Sharkathon surf-fishing tournament Oct. 6 at Padre Island and about to kiss his wife, Michelle, goodbye.
At about 8 p.m., Garcia had hooked up his travel trailer to his truck as he and his family and friends were about to leave Padre Island.
“He was telling us where we were going and what we were going to do,” Michelle said.
As Garcia, 35, was about to give Michelle a kiss goodbye, the lightning struck.
“I don’t remember anything,” Garcia said Friday. “No sensations, nothing. I was more concerned about getting wet with the rain. I didn’t think anything about lightning.”
Garcia instructed his wife to get in her vehicle for her own safety when he was struck moments later.
“There was just a big boom,” Michelle said. “There was a flash of light. We don’t know if hit the truck or what. We haven’t checked the truck or travel trailer yet.”
Garcia doesn’t remember driving 20 miles from Padre Island to a friend’s house in Corpus Christi. Garcia, a Goliad volunteer firefighter, called Goliad County emergency management coordinator Peggy Fonseca for advice and she told him he should go to the hospital.
“For some reason, he called Peggy and she talked him into going to the hospital,” Michelle said.
Doctors at Corpus Christi’s Bay Area Medical Center were worried initially that Garcia had suffered a stroke after the strike, but he was released Oct. 9. Garcia returned to work the next day. Garcia underwent a CT scan and MRI.
Garcia is still experiencing numbness on his right side and blurriness in his right eye.
“They said it might not come back to 100 percent,” Garcia said of the numbness and blurriness.
“He says it’s like when your foot goes to sleep,” Michelle said. “He said he has that tingly feeling.”
Garcia said the experience, though frightening, won’t keep him from his favorite water sport.
“It’s not going to keep me from fishing,” he said.