Yough High School grad was a young firefighter dealing with spinal cord injury
After two-and-a-half years, Jackie Nader said she and her family were slowly adjusting to a “new normal.”
The “normal” occurred because her then 23-year-old son, Patrick Nader, spent five months in the hospital and four weeks in a rehabilitation center recovering from a spinal cord injury he sustained on July 30, 2010.
A lieutenant with the West Newton Volunteer Fire Department, Patrick Nader was responding to a call from his family's home on Mt. Pleasant Road, just outside the borough, when he crashed into a telephone pole to avoid a construction zone near Bible Alliance Church in Turkeytown.
The young firefighter, who had dislocated two vertebrae and was left a quadriplegic, underwent a number of surgeries.
“He accepted his injury very well, more than I believe I could have at that age,” his mother said.
Patrick Nader died unexpectedly Thursday morning at age 25.
“I wasn't ready for it to happen,” Jackie Nader said, adding that her son seemed to be good health. “It was no different a day than any other.”
The family believes his death may be the result of complications from his injuries. They won't know for sure until autopsy results are returned in eight to 12 weeks, his mother said.
His death was almost two years to the day that he returned home from rehabilitation, she said.
He missed his privacy and being able to spend time alone with his friends, said his father, Joe Nader.
“We had to be his parents, his caregivers and his friends,” he said.
But when asked about the difficulty of the constant care, Joe Nader didn't hesitate: “We did not mind that; we could've done that forever.”
A 2005 Yough High School graduate, Patrick Nader was employed prior to the accident as a line locator for Heath Consultants in Greensburg and as a security guard for U.S. Security Associates in Pittsburgh.
He was also an organ donor.
“He's always been like that; he's been a giving, caring person,” his mother said. “That didn't always come across, because he had a sarcastic personality, but those who knew him knew how he really was.”
At least four fundraisers were organized by the community after his accident to help defray medical costs.
West Newton Mayor Mary Popovich said she knew the “hours of care and worry and stress” would be difficult, so she helped to promote the events, including a full day of events sponsored by the fire department and other emergency organizations.
“They were so grateful for the West Newton residents and local firefighters that came together when they had this time of great stress, and I'm sure the community will reach out again,” she said.
The side effects from such a traumatic injury can be ongoing, including pressure sores, respiratory problems or blood clots, even when the person is in a stable condition, said Popovich, an assistant professor in the health science department at California University of Pennsylvania.
“Only a family who's taking care of someone really understands the impact,” she said. “I can't even imagine what the family is going through.”
A lawsuit filed on Patrick Nader's behalf in November 2010 claims the state Department of Transportation was negligent in safely operating a work zone and did not follow proper flagging procedures, according to court documents.
The Naders declined comment on the lawsuit.
PennDOT has denied the allegations.
A trial date has not been set.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the J. William McCauley Jr. Funeral Home, 901 Vine St., West Newton.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Eastern Derry VFD closes
- Greensburg Central Catholic graduate returns as staffer
- Latrobe woman charged in deadly standoff claims coercion
- Judge OKs Jeannette Glass sale
- Sewickley Township fraud case reopens old wound for New Stanton woman
- Separate trials sought in fatal Murrysville DUI
- Penn Township teen allegedly drunk at time of police chase, crash
- Ex-cop from Irwin gets jail for drug sales while posing as officer
- Future stars welcome at Stage Right! camp in Greensburg
- Slide stabilization project delayed in Hempfield
- Police caution residents after Murrysville vehicle break-ins