Last week, fans became concerned about photos of Derick Dillard that were posted online by his wife, Jill Duggar.
The images showed Derick looking gaunt and generally unwell.
Coming, as they did, on the heels of rumors that the father of one had been experiencing health problems, the photos sparked rumors amongst fans.
Had Double-D had contracted an illness during his time abroad?
Was his health on the decline – to the point of serious concern?
As fans of the family know well, the Dillards have spent most of the past year performing missionary work in El Salvador.
During that time, the Zika outbreak and a handful of troubling images left fans concerned for the welfare of the young family.
Rumors about Derick Dillard’s health began to circulate several months ago, as the missionary veteran appeared to have lost 20-30 pounds.
In a span of just a few weeks, the difference was dramatic.
Well, now we know why … maybe. Over the weekend, Jill acknowledged that Derick nearly lost his life during their time in Central America.
The danger didn’t come in the form of a virus, as so many fans expected. Seriously, you’re not going to believe this one:
In her personal blog, Jill offered a harrowing account of a recent incident in which Derick was nearly struck by lightning.
She says a bolt hit the ground not far from where her husband of two years was talking with a friend on his way back home.
“A minute or so later while they were still talking a little ways from the house, a bolt of lightning hit the tree next to our house!"
"The blast startled everyone around (Israel and I were in the house) and knocked our friend, who Derick was talking with, off his feet!"
Jill continued describing the harrowing scenario – and musing about what might have been if not for a certain sequence of events.
"We were talking later with some of our friends and realized that had this friend not stopped Derick to talk with him," tragedy could have struck.
"Derick could’ve been walking through water as he headed to our house and could’ve been electrocuted by the lightening [sic] through the water on the ground.”
Many fans have expressed their relief that the "near-death" experience Jill referred to was not related to a serious illness.
Following a tumultuous year abroad, the family will reportedly be returning to their native Arkansas in the coming weeks.
Probably for the best, given the way things are going lately.
Only time will tell if Derick will continue joking about the Zika virus once they get back home, or realize that’s in poor taste.
Or when he will get Jill Duggar pregnant with a second child.
Given the family’s track record, we’re surprised it’s taken them this long to be honest. Baby Israel David is already a year old!
An announcement could come any minute, of course, especially with a second season of Jill & Jessa: Counting On now in the pipeline.