All over the country, students are graduating from high school. Most ceremonies are in a gym, or on a field, but one Lawton-Bronson student had his ceremony in a hospital.
Thad Bowen was driving north of Lawton, on his way to his high school graduation. But he never made it.
"Starting to feel my truck pull, I looked down and I was going into the ditch," said Thad Bowen, of Lawton, IA.
His truck landed about 15 feet down. When he got out, he knew there was something wrong with his right leg.
"The second step I took with my right leg I thought 'uh-oh' I had a problem with my hip because I felt it kind of crunch and stuff," said Thad.
A student firefighter with the Lawton Volunteer Fire Department, Thad's emergency training took over. He quickly and calmly assessed himself.
"I knew I had a little bit of an issue, but nothing life threatening so that's why I really wasn't too concerned," said Thad.
"At first I thought it was a minor thing and then when he started crying there was something wrong," said Kristi Bowen, Thad's Mother.
Thad had to crawl out of the ditch only using his arms and left leg and called 911
"At the time I didn't feel any pain really because of adrenaline. Then, by the time the ambulance was there, I was in dire pain," said Thad.
The timing of the accident couldn't have been worse. The honor student and prom king was picking up his girlfriend.
"Thank the good Lord he's alive. The thing that hurt me the most was it was his high school graduation," said Kristi.
Thad was transported to Mercy Medical Center. While there, his friends, along with Lawton-Bronson school administrators, surprised Thad by bringing his high school diploma to him.
"They showed up at the hospital with their cap and gowns and it was real emotional," said Kristi.
"It felt really cool. It felt special like the school care about you," said Thad.
The next day Thad was transported here at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, where he went under the knife to fix his hip.
Thad spend about a week there before his coworkers transported him back home in a Lawton Ambulance.
"You feel good because the ambulance is then caring about you. You know the service you work and kind of help with and volunteering on," said Thad.
"Just an awesome community we live in Lawton-Bronson," said Kristi.
Recently promoted to a full fledged volunteer firefighter, Thad's accident gave him a new perspective when it comes to accidents.
"It helps your field of treatment now for other people because you realize how much sometimes pain their going through or emotional stress," said Thad.
A perspective Thad never hopes to experience again.
"It's not very fun, but it'll help me with my career," said Thad.
Thad is going through physical therapy, right now. He plans to go to Western Iowa Tech in the fall, and get certified in the paramedic course.
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