January 21, 1993 – March 21, 2019
On March 21, 2019, the Poulsen family lost their son, brother, and friend, Nathan LaMont Poulsen, age 26, who passed away due to complications from his third heart transplant. Those who knew him can attest that despite his many medical issues, Nathan accepted his challenges with a smile. He was truly a lamb with the heart of a lion, and he changed all of our lives.
Nathan was born on January 21, 1993 in Logan, Utah. He received his first heart transplant on April 1, 1993, when he was only 10 weeks old. During this time, his loving parents were continually by his side, as his older brothers and sister were cared for by faithful friends and neighbors. Even at a young age and surrounded by intimidating medical equipment, Nathan was a cheerful baby, always smiling when his parents spoke to or held him. The wonderful staff at Primary Children’s Medical Center cared tirelessly for Nathan. Elder Neal A. Maxwell was able to give Nathan a blessing, which began a lifetime of miracles.
After Nathan’s seventh birthday, his parents were devastated to learn their precious son was rejecting his heart and had developed Coronary Artery Disease. Both were very dangerous, life-threatening conditions. Against the odds, Nathan received a second heart transplant on July 4, 2000, and he applied his determined spirit to live life to its fullest. He participated in soccer, baseball, and basketball as a child, eventually graduating from Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah. Nathan made a name for himself as the manager for the girls’ soccer and basketball teams. He loved the players and coaches at Sky View, and it was there that he first learned the skills of cinematography and photography.
At age 19, Nathan longed to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Due to his medical condition, he wasn’t able to be a proselyting missionary, but instead designed and completed a two-year church service mission in Cache Valley, Utah. Serving over 60 hours per week, Nathan completed 800+ hours of volunteer service at the English Language Center. He also honed his genealogical skills working at the Logan Tabernacle, tutored children at Sunrise Elementary School, and put in countless hours at the Bishops’ Storehouse. Nathan was asked to share his experiences at a mission conference, where his voice was heard by stake leaders around the world. He had far exceeded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ expectations and changed how church leaders approached service missions.
While serving his mission, Nathan continued to move irrigation pipe morning and night, and maintained a weekend job at Callaway’s Bistro. He frequently told stories of the pranks he and his friends at Callaway’s would pull on one another. After his mission was complete, Nathan worked at Lee’s Marketplace in Smithfield. There, Nathan found a second family in his co-workers. He also enjoyed seeing his friends, neighbors, and family members as they stopped in.
Nathan was creative and spent hours designing landscapes and rooms. He also started his own photography business called “My Sport Shots.” He took great pride in capturing the perfect action photos, such as a ball that had just connected with the bat, or a soccer ball just leaving the player’s foot.
On February 14, 2018, Nathan again received news that his heart was failing. Determined to halt the rapid progression of the disease, he started a high-intensity exercise program. Nathan would put a DVD on and move furniture to the side. The entire family, including nieces and nephews, worked out with him. He also joined Sports Academy, changed his eating habits, and lost 20 pounds in a few short months. However, despite Nathan’s best efforts, the disease progressed, and he was forced to take a leave of absence from work. This was hard on him because he liked to stay busy, but he remained optimistic as he always did. Nathan was approved to be put on the waiting list for another heart. Almost three weeks later, on October 21, 2018, he received his third heart transplant.
The transplant surgery went well, and Nathan was looking forward to getting back to his job, his wonderful young adult ward, teaching genealogy on Tuesday nights, and working out at the gym. But his condition deteriorated, and Nathan was rushed to Logan Regional Hospital in severe pain. The decision was quickly made to life-flight him to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. There, doctors and nurses who knew Nathan personally were waiting and fought all night to save him. His parents and older siblings were there praying for him, and asking God for just one more miracle. The words of Neal A. Maxwell echoed in their minds: “He will live a long life,” and all were confident he would survive. But Nathan’s earthly mission was complete. His heart was broken, and now our hearts are also broken. We take comfort in the knowledge that one day God will mend all of our hearts through His Son, and we will embrace Nathan again.
Nathan is survived by his proud parents, Mont and Mary-Ellen Poulsen. He had eleven brothers and sisters. Jenna (Dave) Eskelson, Kenny (Jamie) Poulsen, Jarren (Tabitha) Poulsen, Jordan Poulsen, Dustin (Brikelle) Poulsen, Elder Braden Poulsen, Jason Poulsen, Tyson Poulsen, Anna Poulsen, Ryan Poulsen, and Caden Poulsen. Nathan created an unbreakable bond with his younger siblings and admired his older siblings, all of whom love and miss him very much.
The Poulsen family would like to sincerely thank all medical staff who attended Nathan over the years, especially the doctors, nurses, and life flight crew who fought for his life on March 21st. They will forever have our gratitude and admiration. We also extend our sincerest thanks to everyone who has given us their condolences, and offered to help in any way.
A viewing will be held March 29, 2019, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Smithfield Stake Center, located at 600 East 120 South in Smithfield. Funeral services will be held March 30, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at the same Stake Center with a viewing from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. A nursery will be provided for all services. Please enter through the west side of the building.