Wife of man who died on the James River said he was a nurse who received an award for his extraordinary care

Posted at 5:28 AM, Jul 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-26 10:38:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. — The wife of a 40-year-old man who was found dead in the James River this week said he had gone for a bike ride around the river on Sunday before telling her he wanted to swim out to one of the rocks near Texas Beach. That was the last she ever heard from him.

Matthew Nasal's body was recovered from the river on Tuesday, his wife Carrie confirmed. She said Matthew sent her a few videos of his bike ride and the river on Sunday, but his messages stopped around 4:30 p.m.

Around 11 p.m., she sent him one last message saying she was calling the police and reported him missing.

Matthew Nasal
Matthew Nasal

Carrie said they had just moved to Central Virginia from Arizona less than a year ago.

She said Matthew was a "well-respected and dedicated" nurse who had even received aDAISY award for his extraordinary and compassionate care. He worked in the ICU during the COVID pandemic, and, according to his DAISY Award page, he was known for his work in critical care.

Matthew Nasal
Matthew and Carrie Nasal

This past year, Matthew had started a new position as an ECMO specialist — which is a life support technique that helps people maintain heart and lung functions during critical care — and worked for a company that flew him to hospitals across the country when they were in need of his expertise.

Carrie said the two had been been married since 2011, and he helped her raise "an incredible daughter" who is currently away at college.

"He is my best friend," said Carrie.

Matthew Nasal
Matthew and Carrie Nasal

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