Cousin was in ER for man's final moments after lightning strike
Posted April 10, 2015
Cary, N.C. — Steven G. Bryan Jr.'s mother and cousin, both nurses, saw their personal and professional lives collide Thursday night when the 28-year-old Angier man was struck by lightning.
Bryan was taken to WakeMed, where cousin Valerie Bryan was visiting her father, who is recovering from bypass surgery.
"They paged a Trauma 1 overhead," she said. "Then I got a call from his dad."
An ER nurse, used her knowledge of the hospital and trauma procedure to get to her cousin as he arrived. She met his ambulance and saw that EMTs were doing CPR.
"It’s different when it’s family. It’s way more traumatic when it’s family," she said.
Steven Bryan's stepmother, Angela Bryan, echoed that sentiment.
"Being a nurse, I see so much," she said, "and you think that happens to other people. Looking at him in the emergency room, I kept expecting him to sit up and talk to me."
Steven Bryan was waiting in a Cary parking lot while his girlfriend shopped, his family said, during the severe thunderstorms that rolled through the Triangle on Thursday evening.
When the young woman, her child and her parents left the store, they didn't see him in the dark and rain. She tried to call his phone, but he didn't answer, so she shined her headlights toward his truck and found him lying on the ground.
"Her mom immediately began CPR, and they called 911," Angela Bryan said.
Steven Bryan was pronounced dead at WakeMed. "They pretty much felt like he died on the scene," his stepmother said.
On Friday, he was remembered as a family man, a loving jokester, a great son and a great dad.
He was the father of a son, 6, and a daughter, 4, who were on spring break in the Outer Banks when Bryan died.
"We are all just such a close family," Angela Bryan said. "He loved his kids, and he loved his family, and we’re going to miss him."
The family has started a fund to help Bryan's children. Donations can be made to the Steven Bryan Children's Fund at BB&T Bank.