‘Live with the love they left behind’: WWAY reporter, family discuss loss after suicide

One family from the Cape Fear is sharing their story involving suicide in hopes of helping another family and preventing another loss.
The Furtados
The Furtados (Photo: The Furtado Family)

Editor’s Note: The date of the Dr. Phil episode changed from March 3 at 5 pm to March 15 at 5 pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One family from the Cape Fear is sharing their story involving suicide in hopes of helping another family and preventing another loss.

Bryson Furtado was a 20-year-old full of love for others, a great sense of humor, and a passion for working with children with special needs. A popular, outgoing New Hanover High School alumni and junior recreational therapy major at East Carolina University.

“He was the life of the party. Everyone loved to be around him,” Bryson’s sister WWAY reporter Peyton Furtado said. “He had this energy that made you feel like you were the only person he was talking to, that you were important and valuable.”

An honor student and star athlete grounded in faith and surrounded by love. A person who seemed to have it all took his own life on January 15.

“I kind of just had to make this conscious decision to shut off whatever emotions I had at that point and get the information and make decisions,” Peyton said. “So, I was able to believe it because I think I was in complete shock.”

His parents; Kim and Brian, his sister; Peyton, and so many others left to cope with the sudden, unexpected loss.

“There was no chemical imbalance, there was never any addictions, there was never any issues like that at all,” Kim said. “Maybe it would have been easier for us if there had been…if we had been worried about our son ever doing something like that…it was totally by surprise.”

Now, they are choosing to share their story in hopes of comforting others and preventing another life lost too soon.

“I think a lot of people who commit suicide base that decision off of a lie, that they’re not worth anything, and that’s not true,” Peyton said.

Turning to therapy and counseling and relying on their faith in God, both are things they encourage others who are hurting to do.

“The God of all mercy and comfort, praise be to Him who gives us comfort and strength in our times of sorrow, so in turn, we can go and comfort others,” Brian said, reciting a bible verse. “It’s only by that that we’re able to talk about this and hopefully comfort somebody else.”

As they grieve, they search for purpose through the pain.

“Maybe lessons are learned through him,” Kim said. “Maybe he was the one kid who could be a light in lots of different areas all over the place to make an impact and a difference.”

“I know it’s going to happen again, there’s nothing I can do to stop it but if I can keep any other family from feeling this horrible emptiness and hopelessness and pain…then maybe,” Peyton said.

The Furtados will appear on Dr. Phil on March 15 at 5 pm on WILM to share their story nationally in hopes of making a difference.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, help is available at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255

Categories: Local, New Hanover, New Hanover, Top Stories

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