‘I felt like my arm got blown off:’ Landis lifeguard struck by lightning during storms

The teen credits God for being with her during the traumatic event at a public pool.
The pain was nearly unbearable, Steger said.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT
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LANDIS, N.C. (WBTV) - A 15-year-old lifeguard at a public pool in Rowan County will never forget how she has been affected by the powerful storms that rolled through the area on Monday afternoon.

Brynnlee Steger says she’s thankful to God to be alive after a close encounter with a lightning strike.

A fun summer job came to a violent end for Steger on Monday. As the storms rolled through Rowan County, she had cleared all the guests from the public pool in the town of Landis and was starting to remove the umbrellas.

“I heard thunder and it made me jump, so I jumped away from the table and then there’s this mass of electricity behind me and my mom and I got struck on my arm,” Steger said. “I felt like my arm got blown off so I looked down at my arm and my mom, apparently, she said that she saw orange and blue surrounding my arm.”

The pain was nearly unbearable, Steger said.

“I panicked and I ran away and I was yelling at my mom telling her what had happened and then I fell,” she said. “They picked me up, my mom and my boss did, they picked me up and they carried me to the concession room which is sheltered and they laid me out on the ground and I kept hyperventilating for about 15 minutes and I kept going in and out.”

Once at the hospital, Steger was stabilized and started to feel better. She will still need therapy for nerve damage and says her arm feels numb.

She also says she wouldn’t hesitate to be back in the chair as a lifeguard, and is thanking God for her salvation from the storm.

“I truly do believe if God wasn’t with me then, I would probably be dead,” Steger said. “Yep.”

She added that she has always wanted to be in healthcare and work as a neonatal nurse, and says this experience has reinforced that desire to help others.