LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – A man from Littleton struck by lightning on a Colorado 14er says he’s still feeling the effects three weeks later.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh checked in with Jonathan Hardman, who survived the terrible ordeal. Hardman was struck in the head while hiking down Mount Bierstadt. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and will need time to heal. But a gift that will arrive in a few weeks may be just what the doctor ordered.

Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

Hardman is healing. His cuts and bruises are nearly gone and the branch-like marks where electricity surged through his body have faded. But his mind is still feeling the effects.

Branch-like marks on Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

Branch-like marks on Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

“Just a little bit of scar tissue healing up on my nose, that’s about all that’s left physically,” Hardman told Walsh. “My brain just doesn’t keep up the way it did.”

He says it’s been that way since June 29 when the lightning hit him. He’s back at work and able to do his job repairing surgical instruments, but he believes anxiety led to a recent accident.

“There was a car stopped in front of me and I panicked and I hit my brakes too late,” he said.

Along with stress there is sorrow because the lightning killed his dog. Rambo the German shepherd was Hardman’s best friend.

Rambo (credit: CBS)

Rambo (credit: CBS)

“It’s lonely around the house without the little pitter patter of puppy feet,” he said.

But in a few weeks that will change. Hardman is adopting one of Rambo’s little brothers.

“I decided to call him Blitz because it’s German for lightning.”

Johnathon Hardman shows CBS4's Kathy Walsh a picture of his new dog Blitz (credit: CBS)

Johnathon Hardman shows CBS4’s Kathy Walsh a picture of his new dog Blitz (credit: CBS)

Before Blitz moves in Hardman will spread Rambo’s ashes.

“I’m going to let him go in the mountains; it’s going to be my closure I think.”

Blitz (credit: CBS)

Blitz (credit: CBS)

Hardman hopes with time his brain will completely heal. He’s not afraid to someday hike other Colorado 14ers, this time with Blitz by his side.

Blitz is a gift. The breeders offered the pick of the litter to Hardman after hearing what happened to Rambo. The trainers who worked with Rambo will also help train Blitz free of charge.


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