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Monongahela Valley Hospital nurse helps save teen in trouble on I-70

| Monday, July 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Mary Youger meets with Logan Murphy in his Washington, Pa. home. Youger's fast action, and nursing training, saved the teen's life recently on Intersate 70 near West Newton.

Mary Youger has seen nearly every possible medical situation over 25 years as an emergency room nurse at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

But she gets emotional when discussing how on May 1 she answered a desperate May Day call for help.

“Every time I see his face…” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

“Every time I tell this story, I can see his face.”

The North Belle Vernon resident was riding back from Greensburg with her daughter, Jillian, and two grandchildren along Interstate 70.

As they neared the West Newton Exit, Youger saw a car on the side of the road.

Sensing the emergency situation, Youger told her daughter to stop the van and jumped out to render aid even before the vehicle came to a complete stop.

David Murphy told her that his son, Logan, appeared to be having a seizure while driving. David Murphy said he reached over and steered the vehicle, causing it to crash to stop it, breaking bones in his hand in the process.

The Murphys were headed home to Washington, Pa., after the youth had completed the semester at Penn State University.

Youger said a couple in their mid-20s stopped and, with the help of a firefighter who also came to their aid, they carried Logan Murphy from the car.

Youger began doing CPR on the 19-year-old.

On her wrist ironically, was tattooed the name “Logan.”

While Youger's two grandsons, Logan, 9, and Landon, 6, waited with their mother, Kim, in the van, their grandmother continued her frantic work on the teenager.

Meanwhile, David Murphy began conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on his son.

Noting tractor-trailers flying by, Youger asked the firefighter to block off the roadway in the vicinity of the make-shift triage area.

“It seemed like forever,” Youger said of the minutes that passed by before emergency responders came to help.

Paramedics from Rostraver-West Newton Emergency Medical Service arrived and Youger used an AED from the ambulance to shock the teen three times.

As per her suggestion, Logan Murphy was placed on a long board and loaded into an ambulance. He would ultimately be flown by emergency helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital.

Three weeks after the incident, a colleague of Youger's said, “Mary, I know these people.”

Equipped with the name of the previously anonymous father and son, Youger looked up their address and drove to their home.

When Logan's mother answered the door, Youger told her simply, “I just need to see your son. I just need to know that he's okay.”

She has since spoken with the family.

Despite her heroic efforts, Youger prefers to share the credit with those who stopped to help.

“This is what a bunch of people, working together, can accomplish,” Youger said.

“That was a group effort that got him to where he is today.”

Youger said she was just doing what any nurse – or mother – would do instinctively.

“If that was your kid, you'd want someone to stop,” Youger said.

“My nursing doesn't stop at the end of my shift.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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