They saved his life. He made their day with a simple word: Thanks
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lawrence "Larry" Gambone wanted to thank the team that saved his life at Hanauma Bay nearly two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, he got to do just that.
Lifeguards pulled Gambone from the water while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay on May 24.
He remembers waking up to the sight of a clock on a hospital room wall. He later found out that he was in the intensive care unit at The Queen's Medical Center.
Elizabeth Bradshaw, 21, was on her lifeguard tower when she noticed Gambone showing signs of distress. The Texas visitor was snorkeling in and out of the waters in the bay when it looked like he couldn't get back to shore.
Bradshaw decided to check on Gambone. She paddled about the length of a football field when Gambone suddenly went unconscious.
Bradshaw and other Ocean Safety lifeguards managed to paddle the lifeless man back to shore before beginning CPR on him and administering an AED shock. He began breathing on his own. Teams of EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and medical staff took care of him from there.
Gambone was able to meet the first responders that helped save him at The Queen's Medical Center. In fact, he attended the event still in his hospital gown. When he walked out, his relieved wife by his side, he was greeted by Bradshaw with a lei.
"My God, a lot of people did the right thing at the right time in the right way to save my life," he said. "And I wanted to meet them."
The meeting place was filled with EMTs, firefighters and lifeguards that helped helped fulfill his request of meeting his saviors. All were greeted by a hug from the Gambones before describing their roles on May 24.
The drowning survivor said that he has a bad heart, and he could have had some type of cardiac arrest. He is set to have surgery Wednesday to have a defibrillator placed in his heart.
Gambone said that many describe his recovery as miraculous.
"These people are heroes," he said. "They do this and often don't get mentioned."
He'll remember the faces of those who saved him for years, but the same goes for the people who helped him.
"I have experienced many shares of rescues and resusitations," said Ocean Safety Lt. Kawika Eckart. "But few patients do us first responders ever have a chance to meet again."
"Please know you'll always be part of our ohana," Eckart said to the Gambones.
Here are the first responders who saved him:
- Ocean Safety Lt. Kawika Eckart
- Ocean Safety Lt. Josh Guerra
- Ocean Safety lifeguard Elizabeth Bradshaw
- Ocean Safety lifeguard Jared Jovero
- Ocean Safety lifeguard Alika Cavaco
- Ocean Safety lifeguard Matt Beall
- Ocean Safety lifeguard Blayne Fujita
- Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Stacy Yoshikawa
- Honolulu Emergency Medical Services EMT Lane Natori
- Honolulu Fire Department Acting Captain Jonathan Chun
- Honolulu Fire Department Firefighter Gregory Eckart
- Honolulu Fire Department Firefighter Erica Fernandez
- Honolulu Fire Department Firefighter Lucas Arnold
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