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iStock/Thinkstock(SENECA, S.C.) -- A South Carolina man who says he's been struck by lightning ten times compares the feeling to being zapped inside a microwave.

"When it hits you, it's like being hit by a freight train. It knocks you out, knocks you down," Melvin Roberts of Seneca, South Carolina, told ABC News Monday. "You can tell what's around, you just don't have any control over your body."

"It's like grabbing an electrical cord," he added. "You don't feel the burns until it's over with. It cooks you from the inside out like being in a microwave. And you've got a hurting in your bones."

Roberts made headlines in 2011 when he was struck by lightning for the sixth time, and his wife says he's been struck four more times since then. If her count is correct, that would make him the world record-holder for most lighting strikes survived, although Guinness World Records still lists Roy C. Sullivan as the record holder.

Sullivan, a park ranger who died in 1983, was struck by lightning seven times. Guinness World Records did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Roberts, a retired heavy equipment operator, can barely remember all the times he's been struck. There were a couple times when he was on his lawnmower, another time when he was trying to cover the mower up before the rain came, and yet another time when he was helping his aunt hang a tarp on her porch.

"It's like a big syringe in the sky and when it hits you it puts all this different stuff in your body," he said. "It turns your insides completely around."

But it doesn't hurt -- at least not at first, Roberts recalled.

"You're in shock," he explained. "Now, when you come to, that's a different thing. You've got big old blisters on you. It takes a long time to get over it."

As a result, he said he suffers from memory loss, headaches, speech problems and has nerve damage in his hands and left leg because of the strikes. Roberts also can't hear well, so he doesn't always know when there's thunder -- that might be a reason he appears to be such a target for lightning, he said.

But John Jensenius, the National Weather Service's lightning expert, says it's a myth that once someone is struck, they're more likely than anyone else to be struck again. He noted that people who work outdoors are more vulnerable.

"Nothing attracts lightning," he said. "It generally does strike the tallest thing, like trees."

He recommends people seek shelter if they hear thunder and stay away from tall trees, doors, windows and anything that conducts electricity.

People struck by lightning can suffer neurological damage, burns, memory loss, headaches and changes in personality, and the strike could also stop their heart, Jensenius said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Doctors battling Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia say a mistrust of Western medicine is hampering efforts to contain the outbreak.

At least 1,201 people having contracted the virus and 672 people have died in what health officials are calling the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

Dr. Michel Van Herp of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders said his organization has even been accused of "bringing the disease" into certain villages. He also said Ebola has been mystified by villagers, who fear that "to say 'Ebola' aloud is to make it appear."

"They believe that, but the reverse is also believed to be true," said Van Herp. "Denying that Ebola exists would mean that it won't be able to affect you."

Van Herp and his colleague, Dr. Hilde de Clerck, have been on the front lines of six past Ebola outbreaks, according to Doctors Without Borders.

"To control the chain of disease transmission it seems we have to earn the trust of nearly every individual in an affected family," said de Clerck, noting that 20 villages in Guinea near the Sierra Leone and Liberian borders still deny access to their medical team.

Medical personnel must wear full-body plastic protective gear, which De Clerck said is uncomfortable and difficult to bear in the region's high temperatures.

De Clerck said the work also takes an emotional toll, as up to 90% of those who contract the virus die a painful and terrifying death.

"We are the last people to touch them and many of them ask us to hold their hands," she said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Trisha Leeper/WireImage(SAN DIEGO) -- Now, more than ever, the world could use a superhero. In November, the city of San Francisco got one. His name is Miles Scott and he had yet to start kindergarten.

Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the participation of thousands of enthusiastic locals, 5-year-old Miles, who had recently completed chemotherapy treatment for leukemia, spent that fall day racing through city streets to rescue damsels in distress, disarm explosives and defeat his arch-nemeses.

Over 7,000 onlookers came out to cheer Miles on as he patrolled San Francisco in a pint-sized Batman outfit. More than 400,000 people participated in the unprecedented phenomenon on Twitter.

But while the raw footage captivated the nation, filmmaker Dana Nachman wanted to go behind the scenes to find out more. Nachman has been working on a documentary since January.

On Sunday, she premiered the trailer for Batkid Begins at Comic-Con.

"There's a lot of reasons not to do things that are crazy and big," Nachman told ABC News. "But here were a lot of people who said, 'Let's not be safe for a day. Let's go crazy and be a little absurd.'"

Nachman cited the spirit of creativity that is characteristic of the City by the Bay as a possible explanation for the reaction that the spectacle prompted.

"It was this big fantasy for everybody," Nachman said. "It was as much a fantasy for everybody on the ground as it was for Miles."

The project has launched an Indiegogo campaign on July 15 to help finance the feature film. Over the next three weeks, it hopes to raise $100,000. Nachman plans to finish a rough cut of the movie in time to coincide with the anniversary of the event.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Equinox, the upscale gym chain, is acquiring another trendy fitness company to add to its growing exercise empire.

Equinox, based in New York, already operates 73 clubs in cities that include New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. The company announced that it is acquiring six Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club locations from Boston-based Millennium Partners Sports Club Management.

Equinox said its "long-term vision" is leveraging a portfolio of "complementary fitness brands." Monthly dues for its various fitness brands range from $25 to around $200 a month.

Equinox was established in 1991 and is known for its racy advertisements with scantily clad models.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Women taking daily doses of aspirin may be increasing their risk of suffering a heart attack.

A new study reports that nearly 23% of women carry a gene that -- when combined with aspirin -- makes them twice as likely to suffer a heart attack.

According to ABC's Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, "There may be genetic tests that identify people who will benefit from aspirin and people who will not benefit from aspirin."

"That's important because aspirin has side-effects," Dr. Besser added. "So before you start taking aspirin, talk to your doctor, understand what is your own personal risk of heart disease, and whether aspirin is right for you."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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