On December 19th the forecast called for strong winds out of the west - a perfect day to kiteboard the Seabrook Inlet in Seabrook NH.
The local crew was out late morning with about a half a dozen kiters hitting the water and braving the brisk 35 degree temperatures. As the morning went on one of the local riders, Carmine arrived at the inlet to watch his friends on the water.
At some point, from the comforts of his vehicle he noticed one of the riders face down in the water with his kite down. He quickly signaled to another rider (Jay) for help. Jay raced in and dropped his kite near the lifeless body and managed to drag him to shore. The unresponsive kiter was Timmy Bernard, a local NH rider.
Jay quickly sprung into action and began administering CPR to the lifeless body while Carmine called 911. Jay continued to try to bring Timmy back to life and miraculously he was able to get Timmy to cough up seawater and he began to take short breaths.
The ambulance arrived and Timmy was first transported to Exeter hospital. Once they realized the severity of his injuries he was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he'd spend the next 3 days in the ICU and remains in the hospital today.
Timmy drowned and ingested seawater into his lungs, causing an infection. On Sunday the Doctors were giving him a 40% chance of surviving. In addition to the seawater ingestion he had 3 cracked ribs and required 15 stitches to his face.
On Monday his condition improved and the Doctors expect a full recovery, however Timmy remains in the hospital, hoping to be home for the holidays with a long road to recovery ahead.
While no one knows exactly what happened and Timmy does not remember a thing, it's likely while he was jumping he was lofted into one of the 65ft commercial fishing vessels moored in the harbor. His board was snapped so whatever he hit, it was a violent impact.
He's in good spirits and looks forward to getting home and recovering so he can return to work and hopefully return to kiteboarding soon. But he needs our help.
I can only imagine what his medical bills will look like for transport to the ER, 1/2 day in the ER and a few days in the ICU plus whatever they are charging him to be there for the next day or two.
He's a carpenter by trade and told me he'll have to sell his tools to help pay for the medical expenses. I don't want to see this happen and I hope we can pull together as a community during this holiday season to help raise money to help pay for his medical expenses. I know he'd be first in line to help another rider.
Please donate what you can - $10 or $20 from each member in the community will go a long way and he'll greatly appreciate our kindness and generosity. It's good to know he has friends like us looking out for him with a special thanks to Jay Oczkowski and Carmine Colangelo for literally saving his life.
We've set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his expense - please do what you can to help. https://www.gofundme.com/ung59qz8