Michael P. Utley


Mr. Utley's personal story is a remarkable feat of human survival that will inspire and teach the importance of lightning safety to everyone.

In May 2000, Michael Utley was struck by lightning on a Cape Cod golf course. Mike's heart stopped several times, his friends performed life saving CPR in the rain and hail, and the EMT's used the paddles on him in the ambulance. Its only because of these people and their knowledge that he is here today to promote lightning safety and CPR. Michael spent 38 days in Brigham & Women's Intensive Care Unit, then another two and a half months in Braintree Health/South Rehab.. It has been a long road back and now, 3 years later, the journey is still far from over.

Michael started the Struck by Lightning organization in an effort to promote lightning safety and education. Started in 2002, our goal is to provide professional and entertaining presentations for schools, companies and organizations throughout the United States and abroad. As a NOAA spokesperson for lightning safety, he helped kick off the first Lightning Awareness Week in 2001 at Westchester Country Club in New York. Teaming up with Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, one of the leading lightning medical authorities, Rocco Mediate, a PGA Pro, Scott Gudes, Deputy Director of NOAA, and Brig. Gen. (USAF Retired) John J. Kelly, Jr., Director of the National Weather Service they delivered a lightning safety message to the PGA and put the first Lightning Awareness Week into motion.

Michael has appeared in TV weather specials for several Boston TV stations, the Weather Channel, and National Geographic. He has written for the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and has been featured in articles in the Cape Cod Times and Discover Magazine. Most recently, NOAA featured Michael's story on their website in April 2003.



Michael Utley, Vice-President, #10 in what is now UBS/PaineWebber, took a direct lightning strike on a golf course. His heart stopped a couple of times, he spent 38 days in ICU and the prognosis was 'brain dead quadriplegic'. Over 2 months in Health/South rehab relearning how to do almost everything has enriched him with experiences that combined with the top professionals in the field give you one of the most inspirational and dynamic shows available..

Michael's story is full of moments of intense struggle to overcome the obstacles that lightning had put in his way, his determination to relearn the most basic skills in life. Too swallow again, to taste water that others take for granted, laying there watching others drink and not be able to, with ice chips or a damp sponge rubbed on the lips as a substitute just doesn't cut it.

Relearning how to walk one step at a time with metal braces & parallel bars, sometimes in the middle of the night, often only a couple steps a day. How about getting off bicycle training wheels the same time your young daughter does, what an accomplishment to share, how many father's can?

..Opening my eyes, looking around, all I could see was the inside of a vehicle, the roof of a van maybe. Struggling to move my head I saw cables, monitor screens, tubes, cylinders and to my dismay, lots of needles. Where was I, what was going on, then it hit me; I was in an ambulance. I tried to move my arms and realized I was tied down, not that it would have made any difference since at that time I couldn't move any parts of my body anyway. Movement down towards my feet caught my eyes and my vision was drawn to a large shadow in the back of the ambulance; looking that way I saw this big guy in a blue uniform with a stethoscope draped around his neck sitting there. I mouthed the words as much as asked, "where am I"? Turning away from the monitors looking towards me, he said, "you're on your way to rehab." "Rehab" I said, "what happened?" "You were struck by lightning", he said, "a month ago". As the ambulance made it's way to the Health South Rehab facility in Braintree I looked around and realized my life, and the lives of my family had been changed forever. That scene took place on June 15, 2000, 38 days after I had been struck by lightning on a Cape Cod golf course, it was also my daughters 2nd birthday.

Michael's ability to take these events and transform them into something that captures, inspires and motivates others is what makes him such a powerful speaker and storyteller.

He is able to take his experiences and convert them into something that challenges your organization to excel by setting goals, focusing on basic fundamental tools to achieve those goals and then to deal with the success and advance.


Our educational programs have been give rave reviews by teachers and students alike. We have tailored programs to children as young as 5 and 6, up to University students.

Our educational tools, such as the downloadable 'Leon the Lightning Lion' coloring page, which was developed with the LPI, the LSA, and NOAA, is being used in schools, Doctors offices, Day cares and other places where young children gather.


Michael has spoken for these groups and more:

Boy Scouts of America
YMCA International
National Weather Service
National Park Service
Y Services
The PGA Tour
USA Today
Mt.Washington Observatory
Town of Hillsdale New Jersey


Professional Speakers Bureau International
Dr. Thom A. Lisk, BA, LHD, CSE is the Founder, President and CEO

Tels: (614) 841-1776 • Fax: (614) 846-3803

1112 Firth Avenue Suite 301, Worthington, Ohio 43085

 E-mail : speak@terrificspeakers.com

300+ speakers featured on this website -- 4000+ in our files, plus we can get
you almost anyone. Contact us today.