Nathan’s Story: Surviving What Others May Not

Watch Nathan’s story

Click play to watch the video or read video 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?’”

Melissa Whitmill, MD, said seeing Nathan doing so well is the reward. “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.”

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

Melissa Whitmill, MD

Melissa Whitmill, MD

View Profile

Contact Us

If you or a loved one needs emergency or trauma care, our teams of specially trained doctors and nurses are here to help. At Premier Heath, we quickly assess your condition and provide the care and treatment you need.

You can access emergency services at the following locations: