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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Family uses faith to draw answers after drowning

Family uses faith to draw answers after drowning

Seven-year-old Owen Matherne was a sweet, fun-loving child – the kind that could brighten your day just simply with his presence in the room.

He was always happy. He lived with exuberance and a zest for people of all ages. Owen lived so innocently and pure.

His sudden, tragic departure leaves a hole in our community that has many calling for prayers and rallying around faith for answers.

The young boy died on June 1, the tragic victim of a drowning accident that took place at a residence in the 3500 block of La. Highway 308 in Raceland just two days earlier. He was at a pool party with several others when the accidental drowning occurred.

Gone too soon – the victim of a terrible accident, the boy’s parents Nicholas and Sarah Matherne are asking for prayers this week as they cope with their loss.

The parents said they will always love and remember their boy, but through faith, they understand that they have to accept that he’s been called by God to live eternally in Heaven.

Photos of the young boy flashing that memorable smile lined the wall of the church during his wake and funeral – a testament to the happiness he shared to all.

“Sarah and I want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and prayers for us and especially for Owen,” the boy’s father Nicholas said in a statement. “God has called our baby home where he is living forever in peace and happiness. Owen experienced life with such wonder and amazement, and we have no doubt that he is experiencing Heaven in the same way.”

“The outpouring of love, prayers and generosity that we’ve experienced over the past few days has been nothing short of overwhelming…,” Owen’s mother Sarah Matherne added. “We humbly ask for continued prayers for our family as we will need them now and always, and I can promise that our family, including Owen, will pray for you in return.”

The entire thing happened so fast.

At 2:40 p.m., on May 30, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and volunteer firefighters from the Lafourche Fire District No. 1 were called to the home in Raceland in reference to a possible drowning.

Young Owen was one of many children swimming on that day. Sometime during the fun going on in the pool, he went under and wasn’t able to come up, which prompted the call.

When authorities arrived, Owen was lying near the pool. He didn’t have a pulse and was not breathing. Someone at the residence had already begun chest compressions. EMTs arrived and provided further medical treatment.

The efforts continued for 45 minutes, but the young boy was unable to regain a pulse or begin breathing.

From the Raceland poolside, he was taken to Ocshner St. Anne Hospital, where doctors got the boy’s pulse back, but not his breathing.

Medical personnel then flew Owen to Ocshner Medical Center in New Orleans for further treatment. After two days of efforts, the boy was taken from life support and pronounced dead on June 1.

Owen’s mom said words can’t fully explain the gratitude she has for all of the professionals who made attempts to save her son’s life.

‘We wanted to thank the first responders who were on scene giving every ounce of their effort to save our baby,” Sarah Matherne said. “I have never been so humbled by people willing to give everything they had for someone they didn’t even know. I don’t know all of your names, but I do know that our boy is praying for you all in Heaven right now for your selflessness. We also thank each and every member of the medical staff at each hospital who poured their hearts and souls into their work to give Owen the best chance he could to survive.

“Every last person was completely amazing, and I can’t say enough about them.”

The father agreed with Sarah’s sentiment and said the past few days have shown him how powerful pure faith can be in one’s life.

Nicholas Matherne said the pain that comes with Owen’s death hurts so bad. But through faith in God and belief in the paradise of Heaven, a jolt of comfort and peace is able to be experienced by those grieving the tragedy.

Owen is the oldest of three kids in the family. He has a 5-year-old brother named Eli and a 2-year-old brother named Jack. The mother is seven months pregnant for another Matherne boy, who will be named Cole.

“While we are experiencing sorrow now because he has left us, we know he is truly happy, and his smile will continue to brighten our days for years to come,” Nicholas Matherne said. “We believe Owen truly understood how special God’s gift of life to him was, and he treasured it each and every day.

“We ask that you continue to pray for us, as we will most certainly need prayers. We pray for all of you and hope that you all hold your babies tight tonight and always.”