A Story of the Power of Love, Faith, and Perseverance

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Nancy Harrison | Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce

Nate and Sarah Washam have an incredible story of their love for each other and the obstacles they have faced together fueled by that love.

They met in a restaurant in San Diego. Nate, who was also dining at the same restaurant, delivered cocktails to her table of friends and family celebrating Sarah’s 21st birthday, they were immediately inseparable. Planning their wedding was interrupted when Nate successfully fought testicular cancer. They will celebrate 19 years of marriage in May 2023.

Nate and Sarah Washam (Photo courtesy Nate Washam)

Apparently, Nate likes weddings a lot as he has planned two additional ceremonies after their actual wedding. The first was a renewal of vows and the second was a total surprise to Sarah when they went on vacation in the Bahamas with extended family. Nate secretly sent her dress from the vow renewal with her sister, so she could celebrate in style!

Nate owns a real estate brokerage in Northern Colorado and Sarah is an interior designer for the firm allowing them to work together to build their successful business. They have two teens, so their lives were full and busy.

Then Covid hit. Nate was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center of the Rockies on January 24, 2021 – before vaccines were available. It hit him very hard and he was placed on a ventilator immediately and put into a medically induced coma. This continued for 80 days, with Sarah not allowed to visit him for the first 20 days.

Nate’s prognosis was very grim; he was in multiple organ failures, had pneumonia, was septic, and on top of that he contracted an autoimmune disease that’s nearly always fatal, called HLH. This all served to put Sarah into a very dark place in her mind and heart.

Always depending on her faith, she turned to God and prayer and says now that things immediately started turning around. Shielding herself from negativity, sympathy, and sorrow, she focused on the positive. Friends and family supported them with prayer and soon the doctors reported that Nate’s labs were coming back into positive ranges and he eventually awoke from the coma.

Completely paralyzed, Nate was able to return home only by ambulance to live in a living room converted to a hospital room. Sarah secured all the equipment required to care for her husband, learned how to feed him, and dispense his medication through the feeding tube.

They both said that they have always been very close and love each other deeply. Going through this experience has brought them even closer than they ever thought possible. Never leaving each other’s side, they have supported each other and continue to lean on God to take them through to better days.

After being released from the hospital and recuperating at home, Nate went on tours to show houses in a wheelchair and Sarah is right there by his side. She even brought portable wheelchair ramps! They are trying their best to provide a sense of normalcy for their two kids.

Nate is working out and lifting weights to gain back the strength he lost during his illness. He went from a toned, healthy body weighing 218 pounds to a 140-pound person who is very stiff and weak making it difficult to walk and climb stairs. Again the couple leans into their faith in God that he will allow Nate to grow stronger and be able to resume the full life they had before Covid hit. Nate told me today that he has every intention of regaining his former health and is confident he can do that with Sarah by his side.

Nate and Sarah are privileged to share their story with friends and family and now with the readers of North Forty News. It’s part of a series of love stories for February.

This story was suggested by Bridgit Aesoph from Aesoph Flowers in Wellington. She became acquainted with their story during Nate’s hospitalization and promoted a blood drive to replace the 16 units of blood that he required. She achieved that goal and more. Bridgit reminds us that flowers are a wonderful expression of love. Be sure to contact her to order flowers for those you love this Valentine’s Day.

Visit aesophflowers.com.