After a horrible head-on collision between an Allina ambulance and an SUV left an EMT, a paramedic injured and a woman dead, the Nagel family is saying their loved one's survival is an absolute miracle.
The driver of the SUV, Marilyn Paumen, died of her injuries. Yet, while one family is mourning, another is counting their blessings.
"We were prepared for the absolute worst, and it looked like it too," Terry Nagel admitted.
Brian Nagel's friends and co-workers saved the Alina paramedic while the patient he had been working on called 911. Looking at the wreckage, it's amazing to think that the paramedic who couldn't respond to doctors for five days is now walking, talking and eating again.
"He's doing fabulous," Amanda Nagel, Brian's sister, told Fox 9 News. "He's ready to go home and he's like, 'In a couple of weeks.' You know, he wants to get back in the ambulance."
It was 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 18 that Brian Nagel was in the back of an ambulance with a patient when the crash took place. With everyone else rendered unconscious by the force of the collision, she was the one who called 911.
"I would like to think she saved their lives," Amanda Nagel said.
Brian Nagel's friends and coworkers were the first to respond to the scene.
"They were working on him, doing everything they could," Amanda Nagel recalled. "It was like seeing their own brother. It was very touching."
In less than 2 weeks, there were more than 38,000 visits to Nagel's CaringBridge site.
"It's so uplifting to know people care," Terry Nagel said.
While it is hard to know what will come on the road to recovery in light of the massive brain injury Brian Nagel suffered, the family can't thank the staff who have helped nurse him back to help enough.
"These guys are all my heroes, for sure -- all of them," Terry Nagel said. "They've let us into their world and their family, and they have someone standing at his door. They are always willing to help us, talk to us. They are pretty much our saviors."
It may be several weeks before Brian Nagel is released from the hospital. Most likely, he'll be moved to a rehab facility. Although it could take up to a year for him to recover, he's not giving up on his ultimate dream of becoming an emergency room physician.
Investigators do not know who or what caused the crash, which remains under investigation.