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A Broken Arrow teen struck by lightning dies

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One of two Broken Arrow boys struck by lightning several months ago has died. The boys were playing by a neighbor's tree when they were hit during a sudden storm.

Family members say after months of fighting for his life in a hospital bed, 13-year old Sam Shannon died late Tuesday night.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin explains how the family is coping.

It was a sudden summer storm, which sent a lightning bolt through a tree and into the bodies of two young friends, 14-year old Devin Catlett and 13-year old Sam Shannon. Hospitalized for nearly 12-weeks, Sam's uncle, Mike Pierce says he fought bravely through several surgeries, but early Monday, the once vibrant, athletic boy took a turn for the worse. "It just got to the point where his immune system was just so beaten down; it's my understanding, that he just couldn't fight the infection anymore."

The loss is being felt throughout the community. Since the accident, Sam's church and soccer league have offered their support, holding fundraisers and providing meals to the family every day for three months. Family friend Mike Keester: "He's caused us to focus on family and friends and the important priorities in life."

Sam's priorities were soccer and a strong faith. Pierce says even at a young age he went out of his way to help others. "Sam was kind of known as one of the goofballs in the family, he could a rise out of anybody. The kids loved having him around. Sam was always kind of silly and had a real affectionate smile."

Pierce is grateful the family had time to say good-bye. "He was not uncomfortable, was not in any pain. And it was kind of a blessing because we were able to prepare ourselves and get some things in order for him." Family members also found it meaningful that Sam passed away on his birthday, just minutes after the time he was born.

Funeral services for Sam Shannon will be held at one o'clock Friday at Church on the Move.

The other injured boy, Devin Catlett was released from the hospital. Family members say he's on a long, slow road to recovery. They are also devastated by Sam's death.
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