Monday | December 18, 2017
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Letters to the editor: 12-07-17

Updated: 
December 7, 2017 - 12:05am

Lifeguards saved my life

Exactly one year ago today my life was saved by four Big Island lifeguards.

My wife and I were vacationing in Hawi and went to Hapuna Beach to catch “a few more waves” before returning to cold, rainy, dark Seattle. I have no memory of this, but I apparently got crunched bodysurfing and hit my head on the bottom. I broke my neck, blacked out, and essentially drowned. I was pulled up on the beach by the lifeguards with my lungs full of seawater and with no respiration or heartbeat.

They stabilized my neck and performed CPR, restarting my heart and lungs. I was air-lifted to the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where I spent 2½ weeks in ICU.

For several days I was unconscious and literally fighting to live. The doctors were concerned that if I did live I would have lasting paralysis from the neck fracture and/or lung and brain damage from so much seawater in my lungs and being unconscious for an undetermined amount of time.

One year later: I am still recovering, but I am alive. I have no paralysis. My brain, heart and lungs are excellent. I exercise. I’m working. I’m enjoying my first grandchild. Over the past year I have seen many doctors.

And they all say the same thing: “The fact that you are alive is a miracle. Even more miraculous is that you have no brain damage or paralysis.” And then they follow it up with: “You have been given a second life.”

For this I am profoundly grateful and very, very appreciative of many Hawaiian people. We experienced firsthand a very deep level of aloha.

Mostly, I would like to acknowledge Hapuna’s lifeguards for their exceptional reactions, judgment, teamwork, and treatment: Ben Fisher, Liana Carson, Roberto Salkeld-Garcia, and Robin Fasciano.

I owe them my second life.

Mahalo,

Gary Meyers

Kirkland, Wash.

Sirens like the sound of silence

I just read Janet Booth’s letter about the sirens in the Wednesday paper. We’ve lived in Waikoloa Village going on five years and have yet to hear any sirens!

I now find out when they are going to be, turn off any TV, music or anything else going on that would not allow me to hear this siren (I don’t think that’s the point, but oh well) and have never heard a thing. I will stand outside at the given time of this “test” and still have not heard a thing!

I don’t think we are in danger of a tsunami due to our elevation but sure would like to be warned if something else is going on — like a missile headed our way!

What good is noting the test times if no one hears them anyway? And if anyone here in the village can hear this siren, you have great hearing!

Lynn Neering

Waikoloa

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