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Surviving What Others May Not Have

Click play to watch Nathan Mowen's story or read the transcript.


On August 28, 2015, the Mowen family was eating dinner in the sunroom in the front of their house when a Jackson Township police officer drove up their driveway.

“At the time, Nathan was the only one of my children who wasn’t home,” Debby Mowen, Nathan’s mother, recalled. “I ran onto the front porch and said ‘Can I help you?’”

The police officer asked Debby if she was Nathan’s mom. “Instantly, I knew something was wrong,” she said.

Nathan had been brought to Miami Valley Hospital by Brookville EMS. Danielle Price, RN, surgical intensive care unit, recalled that she had heard Nathan had been in a high-speed car accident going at least 80 mph and hit a concrete wall.

“The car immediately caught fire, and he had to be pulled out by a passer-by,” Danielle said. “When he came to me, he was in very critical condition.”

Debby arrived at the hospital emergency department not really knowing what to expect. “All I was told was that he was in a car accident, and that he was alive at the moment,” she said.

“Nathan was swollen all over. He had multiple fractures to his face. He had bilateral femur fractures; I believe he also had multiple rib fractures,” Danielle recalled. “He had extreme swelling in his face…you couldn’t even tell what he looked like before.”

Superior Level of Care

“They never stopped,” said Debby. “They never gave up. When Nathan’s vitals would go down, they would restart again.” Debby stayed by Nathan’s side the entire time he was in the hospital, the full 78 days. “I never left his side.”

“When one hospital says, ‘We couldn’t have taken you. We would have sent you to Miami Valley,’ that right there shows you the superior level of care, and experience, and education,” said Debby. “This hospital can do things that others can’t.”

On November 13, 2015, Nathan went home. 

“The accident occurred on August 28th, and the first time that I actually remember is when I woke up, and it was October 31st then,” said Nathan.

“He survived things that should have killed any other person,” said Debby. “When people see him now, they’re like ‘You’ve been through all that? You lived through that?’”

“It’s kind of the reward for doing the job that we do…we get to see them back living their lives again,” said Dr. Whitmill. “To see this miracle, because really, truly, that’s what Nathan is. He is a miracle.”

Debby said she tells Nathan all the time, “You have a divine purpose. God kept you here for a reason. We may not know what that is right now, but one day we will.”

“Thank you all, even to the ones I haven’t met,” said Nathan. “I love you all for saving my life. I probably wouldn’t be here if not for them.”

Content Updated: March 8, 2017

These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Emergency & Trauma Services.
Emergency and Trauma at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Emergency Center at Miami Valley Hospital North
9000 N. Main St. Englewood, OH  45415
Emergency Center in Jamestown
4940 Cottonville Rd. Jamestown, OH  45335
Emergency Center in Miamisburg
300 Austin West Blvd. Miamisburg, OH  45342
Emergency Department at Miami Valley Hospital South
2400 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
Looking for a specific department or phone number?
Visit the Miami Valley Hospital Directory.

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