Sydney woman Margaret Goodwin struck by lightning in Bowral dies in hospital

Margaret Goodwin died in hospital, five days after she was struck by lightning. Photo: Rockdale Uniting ChurchA Sydney woman who was struck by lightning while sitting on a park bench with her two sisters has died in hospital, five days after a series of severe thunderstorms battered parts of NSW.

Friends have remembered Margaret Goodwin, 61, as a dedicated member of the Rockdale Uniting Church, who “always thought of others’ needs before her own”.

Mrs Goodwin, the wife of the church’s minister, the Reverend Martin Goodwin, died peacefully in Royal North Shore Hospital on Thursday morning, after her life support was switched off.

Her sisters, twins Pam and Heather, survived the lightning strike.

Ms Goodwin and her sisters were in Corbett Gardens in Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands, about 3pm on Saturday when severe thunderstorms hit the area.

The sisters sought shelter from the storm under a large tree, on one of the park’s benches. It’s understood one of the sisters was holding an umbrella when lightning struck the women.

Police said a witness alerted police at Bowral police station, and an officer ran to the gardens and began performing CPR on Mrs Goodwin, who was the most seriously injured.

She was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.

Mrs Goodwin’s sisters – aged 60, and from Mulgoa and Canberra – were treated at Concord Hospital and have since been released.

A friend said the sisters had met in Bowral, a half-way point between their homes, and spent a lovely day together before tragedy struck.

Rockdale Uniting Church confirmed in a statement that Mrs Goodwin had “passed away peacefully”.

“While we grieve the loss of Margaret, we also know that God was the love of Margaret’s life. She lived her life seeking to model her actions on her Saviour,” the church said.

“She acted with grace and love, and when provoked forgave.

“She always thought of others’ needs before her own.

“We give thanks to God for the precious time we have known her.”

One church member, Mark, wrote: “Words cannot express our sadness at the unexpected loss of Margaret. Such a wonderful lady who will be with us always in our hearts.”

Another member of the congregation, Dorothy, said: “Dear Margaret touched our lives in so many ways.

“She was a vital part of Rockdale congregation and it has been a privilege to know her. She will be sadly missed. Loving sympathy and prayers to Martin and family.”

Mrs Goodwin’s death comes two weeks after a young farmer was killed by a lightning strike in central western NSW while he was trying to protect his family’s livestock from several grassfires sparked by a storm.

Cameron Cox, 22, died on his family’s property in Moolarben, about 40 kilometres north-east of Mudgee, on February 7.

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