A teenager was buried alive to cure crippling back pains she has been experiencing after she was recently struck by lightning on her way to school in Monteria, Colombia, as relatives believed it would "take away the energy" the lightning left inside her.
18-year-old Ana Ballesteros was placed in a giant hole which was filled with earth and covered up to her neck for three days a week in her family's garden.
"Doctors study medicine but not lightning," Ana said. "I know that getting into that hole I’m going to get better because these are ancient things."
Her grandmother, Blanca de la Rosa said:
"What we’re doing is taking the fire out of the light, the heat out of the energy."
"Locals told me before I took her to hospital that we’d be better off burying her instead to take the energy from the lightning away. I’m praying she comes out okay. She can’t walk properly and the burns she suffered on her feet cause her pain. I trust in God."
Local doctors have expressed their skepticism over the treatment. Walter Gomez, who works out of a clinic in the regional capital Monteria, admitted there were a lot of ancient beliefs among the community about how to cure storm victims including burial.
"There’s no scientific proof that burying a patient who has been struck by lightning has any beneficial effects for their recover" Gomez added.