Letters

Lifesaving Care

Sep 06, 2017

The following was addressed to Beach Haven Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis.

Dear Mayor Davis:

My deepest thanks to the members of the Beach Haven Beach Patrol. Indeed, the fact that I can offer thanks is due to them.

A little more than a year ago, on Aug. 7, 2016, while bodysurfing at the Coral Street beach in Beach Haven, I was driven by a wave, head first, into the sand. I lost consciousness, having suffered a break to the C2 vertebra and a spinal cord injury called central cord syndrome. I was floating facedown in the water without a heartbeat.

The alertness of the Beach Haven Beach Patrol in swiftly getting me out of the water, followed by their quick and expert administration of CPR – for quite a while, I’m told – enabled me to survive.

When I came to, I was paralyzed, a condition that began to reverse itself over the next week or so. Several days in the ICU, about five weeks at The Kessler Institute and outpatient therapy at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y., followed. Today, I can walk several miles, play golf, although with a different swing and not any better, and drive my car. I’m independent.

Along the way, I met wonderful people and received great care, none more important than that provided on the beach by the Beach Haven lifeguards.

My family – wife, children, grandchildren, brother, nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc. – were all present when the accident occurred. We had been vacationing in Beach Haven for 16 years. Often we had seen the beach patrol practicing, drilling. Although we always admired and respected them, little did we know how much we would come to appreciate their skill and their devotion to their calling.

They are forever in our thoughts and prayers.

Edward F. Synan

Palenville, N.Y.

 

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