Get to know exercise science major Ethan Young (’25), an uncommon Concordian who’s bouncing back in a big way from a near-fatal car crash.
For Ethan Young, Oct. 10, 2021, was just a normal day—until it wasn’t. A 6-foot 7-inch freshman, Ethan was on his way to a scrimmage for the Cardinal men’s basketball team when a serious car crash almost ended it all. Severe internal injuries to his chest and throat led to major, life-saving surgeries and five days in intensive care, where doctors and family were left hoping and praying that he would just make it through one more night.
By the grace of God, he did make it through that first night, then the next, and the next. …. Defying everyone’s expectations, he walked out of the hospital just two weeks after the crash. Today, he’s back in school and in the midst of an ongoing, miraculous recovery.
What do you remember about the accident?
Short version: An impatient driver tried to pass me on the right just as I was merging back into the right lane. The other car wedged underneath my truck and sent me into a skid. I ended up rolling about six times before my truck stopped on its roof. I was conscious, but I couldn’t see because of the blood and swelling. I tried to squeeze out through the passenger window but only made it about halfway out before I got stuck. That’s where the police found me.
And after the accident?
After the accident, I’m told a police officer found my study Bible open on the driver’s seat of my truck. My parents took this as a sign that God was watching over me. I know a lot of people were praying for me while I was in the hospital. My dad posted updates on Facebook, and hundreds of people commented with prayers of thanks and praises to God.
Who came through for you during your recovery?
Everybody did. At least one of my parents was always in the hospital room, bless their hearts, sleeping on that little couch by the cold window. My brother and sister were great. My teammates and coaches all reached out. Even my English professor, Cindy Kowall, sent chocolates and a card.
How has the experience changed you?
It’s taught me not to take anything for granted. I now try to cherish every day the best I can, and to be more thankful to God. There’s no room for negativity now.
Will you be recovered enough to play basketball?
When people told me, “Oh, you won’t be able to play next year,” I was like, “You just wait, I’ll show you.” I recovered pretty quickly though. I just need a couple of months to get my strength back and then I’ll be ready to go. I’m not going to let this crash get in my way.
For more information about Concordia Cardinals athletics programs, visit concordiacardinals.com.
To help Ethan’s family with medical bills resulting from the accident, visit their GoFundMe page: Ethan’s Recovery Fund.
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the spring 2022 issue of Hearts Together, a Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Special Magazine edition. The fall/winter issue hit mailboxes in early October. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.
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