Nineteen-year-old Kai Lapschies would not be alive today if it had not been for Kelly Patrick, who he met for the first time yesterday.
Lapschies was surfing off Waikiki last month when he suffered a seizure. Patrick was also surfing and happened to glance in Lapschies direction at exactly the right time. She quickly paddled over to him after seeing his hair bobbing up and down in the water.
When Patrick lifted Lapschies's head out of the water, his face was completely white and he was foaming at the mouth. Patrick screamed for help and performed CPR while waiting for lifeguards.
That was the last she saw of Lapschies for a month. The recent high school graduate was in the hospital for three weeks -- 11 days of which he was in a coma.
Lapschies is now out of the hospital and reunited with his rescuer. He gave her a tuberose lei to thank her.
“They didn’t know if I was going to wake up,” Lapschies reflected. “Coming back from being dead, this is my second chance.”
After the experience, Patrick vowed to teach CPR to anyone she could. To find a CPR class near you, use the Red Cross class finder.