Last year I was skating down Oak St to check the waves Friday, June 25th. I don't know why but I took an unusual turn to go right instead of the usual left. The Sup shop above the turn was rinsing boards off creating a run off down the street. As I crossed that path of water my board shot out from underneath me and I went down hard. I'm told that my head hit the pavement a few times before I stopped sliding.
I woke up to a lot of noise and people that seemed to be in a big hurry.. everything was pretty blurry, I had no clue what was going on. I tried to sit up but a paramedic didn't allow that to happen. I asked what was going on, I remember Chris Williams saying not to struggle and a paramedic responded with, "you need to stay still, you just had a skate accident and we are taking you to the hospital." I was confused at that and told them I had just been checking the waves and was fine, they should let me go, I didn't want to go to the hospital. I passed out and don't remember anything until the hospital.
I remember Zach and Chris coming into where I was at the hospital, Zach had
some taco's and offered one to me.. He was telling me I was going to be ok, Chris was also. Passed out. I again woke up as I was being carted in for my first cat scan. As they lifted me from my gurney to the bed I began to vomit, I think it happened a few times. I remember that as being the worst part.
I woke up in the middle of the night just in time to see my parents walk into my room. They had just flown in to see me from MN. Passed out.
Saturday was in and out. I talked to my parents, Chris and Karen, Brandon Phillips stopped in to see me... I don't recall much that took place in there.. I just wanted to get out as soon as possible. I stopped taking pain meds, I wanted nothing to do with them because I knew I was going to need strength to get threw this one.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling pretty good. I was alert and wanted to know everything that had just happened. I knew that I had a head injury but I didn't know the extent. The cat scan showed bleeding in my brain, pretty much a massive concussion. The doctors at one point were looking at options of cutting a whole in my skull to relieve swelling. That would have put me into coma. Thankfully, later scans showed better signs and I was getting better. That surgery never happened, instead, I walked out of that hospital early Sunday afternoon.
I felt like I had just escaped the gnarliest situation of my life. The dream I had in my minutes of unconsciousness at the bottom of Oak was the best remembrance from the whole ordeal. I dreamt that I was at a beach I had never been to, but it was clear as day, along with people that I had never met, but if I met them now I would recognize their faces. When told that I had been skating I was in disbelief. I thought they were crazy and I wanted to walk away from them. If i would have been alone at that time I would have sat up, puked all over, passed out and probably would have died. I'm thankful for everyone that got me threw it. Adam Mejia had been skating with me to check the waves, he was the first to see me and get me help. Lifeguards came up from the beach, I think they were the first to get to me. Paramedics weren't far behind. I'm amped that my doctors didn't cut open my skull. That would have been a huge bummer. I'm so amped my parents were there! They weren't sure if they were coming to say goodbye or to be by my side in recovery. Chris and Karen never left my side, they were always with me praying for me and holding my hand. Brando came in looking cool in his bike gear, I just wanted to get out so I could chill with him again. Within hours of my accident there were hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the place praying for me. In MN and all over southern California, among many other places.. I was meeting people for weeks after that who new who I was and told me they had been praying for me. It was intense. Thank you all.
I began my first year of surf instruction the next week with Walking on Water. One week from going to the hospital I was setting up tents for kids in a baseball field so that they could surf Trestles. A new part of my life was about to start. My head injury was almost as a closing to a chapter. I woke up a changed kid. I was stoked to be alive and moving. It was go
time and surf time.
I'm still working for Chris and Karen. We are Soul Surfing School. I am privileged with a job that provides free surf instruction and after school beach time for Military Kids, CPK Club. I teach private surf lessons through Soul Surfing in Laguna Beach, and I have a summer stacked with youth camps from June 20th to August 20th.
It's impossible for me to say that God didn't bring me back and give me this line of work.
Check out these...
Zach Williams took these from his cell and gave them to me a lil bit ago.. They are strange to look at.
Thanks for supporting.