Sept 09, 2023, I witnessed something that you only see in movies or watch on the news, wondering "How in the hell did THAT happen?!" After spending the day in Northern VA looking for new spots to do photoshoots, we decided to make the drive to Skyline Drive, so I could take pictures of the sunset and the view. Little did we know that we would NOT be making it to Skyline, NOT EVEN CLOSE!
On our way, we were on I-66, and it was raining/storming, BADLY! There were cars that had their hazards on, just to be extra safe, because it was raining THAT hard! Next thing I know, I hear a LOUD boom and see a HUGE burst of light, on the COMPLETE other side of the highway. I could see someone/something fly through the air and smash into the ditch, splashing water into the air, as well as someone/something flying through the air and then sliding on the pavement!
Getting closer to the actual scene, we notice that "someone/something" is a person that had been struck by lightning (I had absolutely NO idea this is what had happened to him at the time) AND THROWN OFF OF HIS MOTORCYCLE!! Thankfully, I was a passenger in the vehicle that I was in, my children and niece in the back seat, I was on the phone talking to a friend when this happened and started screaming, "STOP THE JEEP!!! STOPPP!! LET ME OUT!!!!" as if the truck could stop ANY faster, in the pouring rain, traffic already everywhere..
I jump out of the jeep while it is still in motion, run across the highway, down the ditch, across the OTHER SIDE of the highway, to what I see lying there is a CHILD the age of my children, lifeless, without a pulse!
I went straight into "fight or flight mode" as I called it then, but looking back on it, it was ALL an act of GOD! There is NO way I was able to keep myself and everyone on the scene as calm as I did, without the work of GOD, himself there, and EVERY ONE of the angels that surround both, Noah and me! There was absolutely NO WAY that I could let this BABY boy lay there, on that wet pavement, ESPECIALLY MY CHILDREN WATCHING, ** SOMEONE ELSE'S BABYBOY** I COULDNT AND WOULDNT, let him just die!
I immediately let everyone on the scene know that I was in the medical field and knew what to do until paramedics arrived, at least! I instructed everyone on what I needed them to do so that we could save who I have learned to now be, Noah. I performed CPR on Noah, from behind, (he was face down on his belly lying on the pavement) for a total of about 3-4 minutes, before he FINALLY took a breath!
When Noah came to, he went into a total of three seizures before I was able to stabilize him and keep him conscious. I was yelling for blankets, clothes, ANYTHING, that could keep Noah and me warm because I could tell that his body temp was dropping.
While stabilizing his head the entire time, even while doing CPR (with my knee mostly) I hovered my body over him the best that I could without trying to touch him because of any further injuries he may have had!
The people helping us had us covered in utility blankets, clothes, and trash bags to prevent the rain from getting on us. After about 7-8 minutes, Noah was able to recognize his girlfriend, Hailey, who was following him and watched the entire thing happen. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for her to even witness!
Noah was also able to give me his mom's phone number so that we could call her and let her know that her son had been in a motorcycle accident. Noah kept saying to me "Am I going to die?!" "Please don't let me die, ma'am!" "Please tell my mom I love her so much if something happens to me!" "Ma'am thank you so much for saving me!"
(Hearing a phone call from a fearful mother and her child HAS to be the MOST heart-wrenching thing, from one parent to another!)
Noah's mom was able to make it to the scene of the accident before Noah was taken to the hospital! EVERYONE on the scene worked as a hell of a team to make sure that Noah was going to be okay, AND NOAH IS!!!
He was stuck on his helmet by lightning, which went into his ear, rupturing his eardrum, and exiting through his leg/groin. Noah was transferred to the hospital and was put into the ICU burn unit at George Washington. He has a LONG road ahead of him and I want to help him in ANY way that I possibly can, to get back on his feet!
Noah has FOREVER changed my life! He says that I am his hero but what he doesn't know is that he is MINE! I will forever have a bond with Noah and his family!
I have learned that Noah is a 20-year-old family man!! He has a niece that he absolutely adores. (She is in the pictures) He has such an amazing and strong family! They need allllll of the prayers that they can get while going through this! Although Noah wants to go back to work, already. He can't! We got the news today that he will need surgery to repair his eardrum and he will need surgery for the burns as well as skin graphs! I will keep everyone updated the entire way!
Readers can help Noah Fowler of Haymarket via the Spot Fund page NoahStruckByLightening.
Noah's sister Lauren Fowler said that Noah is undergoing skin graft surgery today. If it goes well he can come home this evening, Sept. 13.
Lauren said Noah has been doing well since he arrived at the hospital, although he has a ruptured eardrum.
She is thankful to Sutherland for "saving his life," and also grateful to the community for their outpouring of support. All the proceeds from the SpotFund account will go into his account.
Erica Sutherland said she works in the medical field providing home healthcare. She has also worked with patients with Alzheimer's, dementia and intellectual disabilities. She said she is accustomed to experiencing trauma, but not to the extent of what happened to Noah.
When the accident occurred, she said she was fueled by pure "mom mode" instinct; she knew she could not leave that young man, someone's child, for dead. Somehow she was able to remain calm and to stay with him until she knew he was okay. It was only after returning to the van, that she experienced a panic attack.
Sutherland, who is also a photographer, was headed west to Skyline Drive to take some photos. Meanwhile, Noah was headed east, having just come from Skyline. She believes it was destiny that she was there to help him.
"The story is absolutely INSANE! It's like we were MEANT to cross paths some way somehow!" Sutherland said.
Her children keep saying he looks familiar, and she believes they may have met in King George's County, where her family lives.
Bristow Beat updated the article to remove the nurse designation for Ms. Sutherland.