He's #NateStrong; Schoharie man moves ahead after tragic accident


By Patsy Nicosia

What should you know about Nate Parslow?
That he has an engaging sense of humor.
That already, Allie, the puppy he brought home Friday won’t leave his side.
That he planned a career in heavy construction.
And that he has no plans of letting the fact that he lost his right arm in a horrific March 5 accident change the rest of his life.
He’s #NateStrong.
That’s the message friends and family shared on t-shirts Monday when the 18-year-old showed up for the court appearance of Michael Bernard Jr., the man charged with DWAI drugs and vehicular assault in the head-on two car crash.
Nate still doesn’t know how he lost his arm; he looked over and it was gone.
A State Trooper saved his life applying a tourniquet in the middle of Route 30 and he was airlifted to Albany Medical Center where he spent 16 days and underwent multiple surgeries before returning home a little more than two weeks ago.
For the second time, Monday, Mr. Bernard’s court appearance before Justice Fred Kennedy was adjourned, this time until June 12, when Nate’s mom, Celeste, said she was told it will be forwarded to a grand jury.
Mr. Bernard was in court—he hadn’t gotten the message and his attorney wasn’t there.
As he drove away, Nate’s disappointed supporters lined the driveway to show the #NateStrong in fluorescent orange on the back of their shirts.
”I feel like we’re the ones who’ve done something wrong,” said his aunt, Raelyn Mercer.
Though he was the jokester outside, Nate sat quietly in the courtroom, Allie on his lap, anxious, he said later, to get it all behind him.
“I’m not going to let it stop me,” he said. “I’m still planning the same life—digging pools for my mother. Once I get my arm…” something that’s at least six months away.
Nate was a BOCES Vo-Tech student and a senior at Schoharie Central School.
He can’t attend either now because of the risk of infection to his still-healing arm, something that makes the days awfully long, even with what his mom said is a never-ending series of doctor’s appointments.
“This community has been so good to us,” Ms. Parslow said. “Not just Schoharie. Nate’s gotten cards and things from all over. His classmates, people he doesn’t even know…He reads every card.”
One of Nate’s biggest struggles is his loss of independence, she said.
Not only did he have to learn to walk again after the accident, but for now, he can’t drive.
But that hasn’t changed who he is:
When a friend was sick, he made his mom drive him to the store so he could get her flowers.
“That’s just the kind of kid he is,” she said. “The kind of kid he’s always been.”
Outside the Schoharie Court after the hearing that wasn’t, #NateStrong vowed to be there for him.
“We’re not fading into quiet,” said one. “We’re not going to let anyone forget what happened to him.