HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mikey ‘Redd’ O’Shaughnessy has made a living off of charging the world’s biggest waves.
He has a lifetime’s worth of experience at Pipeline. But on Valentine’s Day weekend, the seasoned professional ran into a terrifying situation.
“I ended up kind of poking at the top ... which made me lose momentum and kind of dived basically from the top of the wave to the bottom,” said O’Shaughnessy, who provided his account of what unfolded to Hawaii News Now for the first time since the wipeout.
“When I was sucked back over the falls, I was pile drived into the reef and that’s where my helmet really saved a lot of damage that could have been done.”
Thankfully, lifeguards and his fellow pros were on high alert and pulled him to shore to perform CPR.
O’Shaughnessy spent three days in the hospital, but is now on the mend.
“Just basically rebooting the brain and that whole logic board,” O’Shaughnessy said. “The egg got cracked and so thank God I was wearing my helmet because things would have been a lot different. I would probably still be in the hospital getting some reconstructive face surgery and that kinda stuff.”
O’Shaughnessy is expected to make a full recovery, but it’s going to take time to get there.
He’s not yet able to drive, sees doctors daily, and recently started a GoFundMe account to help pay for $25,000 in medical expenses.
He has a message for those who jumped in to save his life.
“I just want to do the right thing and always recognize those people and those heroes and rescuers in my life along with God and everybody else who said prayers,” O’Shaughnessy said.
“I really want to reach out and say thank you and say how much I appreciate them in my life, I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude.”
That traumatic experience also didn’t shake his resolve as he’s planning to rejoin the pro tour for the winter season and once again, tackle the world’s elite sets.
“It’s what I really love to do is be in the ocean,” O’Shaughnessy said. “I know it’s always there and being on the sidelines is OK, I’m OK with that. It’s just another hurdle I got to get over.”