Every Life is a Journey: Here's a Bit of Mine

Every Life is a Journey: Here's a Bit of Mine

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Happened? Story of Me Nearly Drowning - My Dad’s Perspective

The following was written following an event around 12:30 AM on November 5, 2010 when I hit my head on the dock at my parents home and went unconscious under water. This occurred after a 40 day fast and the most significant spiritual attack I've ever faced, with many parallels to the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4. I was alone when I went beneath the surface.

The following is written from my dad's point of reference:

7 weeks ago I (MY DAD) experienced the most amazing display of God's power, love, mercy & grace....... at about half past midnight, I came home from playing basketball with a bunch of guys even younger than my youngest son (ME) in a local church's gym. It was 46 degrees and drizzling on this Thursday night, November the 4th. The moon and stars were hidden by the clouds, making this an extremely dark night. As I ran the short distance from my truck to my door, through the sounds of the breeze I heard my son out on the pier. I thought nothing of it, since it's not unusual for him to be up late or outside.

The house and nearby water: After taking a shower, I put on sweat pants and was heading towards my computer to catch up on emails, when, unlike almost any other night, instead I walked out in the drizzle to check on my son. As I walked north towards our pier in the York River, I heard something off our eastern shore, not words but sounds, so I quickly checked the pier and saw that he wasn't there, looked back and saw that no cars were missing, and ran to the edge of our eastern shore and started calling out to him, even though I couldn't see him. Something was making a sound of some type and I thought I could see the silhouette of a head and shoulders moving about 200 feet off of the shoreline and called out to him, "Adam... ADAM...ADAM!!!" Now I was shouting, "ADAM IS THAT YOU? ANSWER ME!" I shouted one last time to the top of my lungs, "A-D-A-M!" I got no response, but somehow I knew that it was him, that he was out there, and that he was in trouble.

I ran back to the house, grabbed a high-beam flashlight and a rain jacket, and went back to the cove behind our house, to the only boat that had any chance of getting out because the tide was so low. This was a little 13 ft Boston Whaler, which by the way didn't start the last time I tried to use it. Frantically I tried to get it started to no avail. Since the guy who works for me had winterized it and disconnected the gas line, which was not the normal procedure, I turned around to see what was wrong, reconnected the gas line, and it started almost immediately. With the engine tilted up, I made my way out, dragging the bottom out of the shallow cove. I then went full blast out to where I saw him, which was about 300 feet away from the dock that he had been on that night. Standing in the Boston Whaler, I began turning in circles with the flashlight looking all across the endless water, and saw nothing. I shined the light up on the rocks to see if he had somehow made his way out of the water. Still I saw nothing. Then, way out over 1,000 feet away, the light reflected off of something in the water. But before I made it there, I realized it was only a crab pot marker. It was at that moment that I realized the vastness of the water and the hopelessness of finding him like a needle under a haystack. My son was gone, swept away by the current that runs past our house, underwater and out of sight.

It was at that time that I cried out in desperation to God, "God, take me to my son!" Immediately I felt led to go towards our duck blind, and within 45 seconds, I saw an imperfection on the water's surface just off the bow of the little boat which I almost immediately realized was an air pocket caught between the black liner & his black leather coat against the black water on this black night. It was barely breaking the surface, and as I pulled up beside this "imperfection" I saw the curls of his blonde hair under the water's surface. His feet were dragging on the bottom and he was completely submerged underwater. He was now approximately 500-600 feet away from the pier. I knelt down, grabbed him by his hair with my right hand, and lifted his head above the water's surface. His pale, white, cold head was now face to face with mine, his eyes shut, and his teeth clenched. He was completely unconscious.

Then, as if he was trying to breath, water started pumping out of his nose in a rhythmic fashion, which gave me hope that he could be revived. I lifted him higher with my right hand still clenching the hair on the top of his head, and started beating him in the chest with my left hand. Then I drug him into the boat where I laid him in the bow on his back, fully clothed, with 2 coats, gloves, shoes, pants, etc. still out cold. I laid my hand on his chest over his heart, and miraculously felt it beating. The water pumping out of his nose had transitioned to shallow breathing as the complete hopelessness of the situation began to subside. I drove the boat back around to the York River dock where he had been, hurriedly tied the boat up, and ran inside as fast as I could, called 911, and yelled to wake up my wife, Libby to come and help.

As I waited for the ambulance, he laid unconscious, eyes closed, teeth clenched, breathing shallow breaths in the bow of the Whaler as I begged God to bring him back, to let him live, to preserve his brain that been robbed of oxygen. It took me and 3 guys from the rescue squad to lift him out of the boat and onto the dock as they took him to the ambulance where they cut his clothes off and wrapped him in blankets. At that time his body temperature was probably less than 80 degrees. Thirty minutes later, wrapped with multiple blankets in the blast heated ambulance, he arrived at the emergency room where his body temperature had risen to 82 degrees. Libby and I waited directly outside of the trauma unit of the emergency room where 20 minutes later I heard a nurse ask, "What's your name? Who's the president?" They let me come into the room, where our eyes met and he said, "Hey Pops, what happened?" This was the beginning of his recovery. Today he has completely recovered and l am the most thankful man on earth.....

I did not earn this, prepare for this or deserve this .....For this series of events to have happened exactly in this order, in this precise time sequence was impossible. Why did I even go outside in the first place? Adam was 500-600 ft away from the dock & could have drifted in 270 degrees of different directions , and completely underwater & out of sight at 1:00 am on the darkest of dark nights.....I do not even know how to do CPR......If the tide would have been 2-3 inches lower, l would not have been able to get the little boat out.....10 boats with search light could not have found him....Within 5 minutes of finding him, the battery in the one flashlight that l had was dead...... He was probably completely underwater for at least 10-15 minutes.

This was an absolute Miracle !!!!!

May God grant you the Christmas miracle that you need.

Greg Garrett

Praise God as well for the prayers that went into me being alive today! Amidst a number of people praying for me around this incident, I found out after the incident that one friend of mine felt led to pray for me while standing in the York River near our dock months before, and did not know why he was being led to pray for me. Another friend of mine, Mrs. Mary Ellen Bogert, wife if Dr. Phil Bogert, was woken up around midnight the night of the incident, feeling an urgent need to pray for me. While normally she sleeps like a rock, this was one of less than five times in her life when she can remember that she has woken up and felt an urgent need to pray for someone. The only other time that she could think of was when she was woken up to pray for her son around the same time that her son got into a bad car accident. I learned in April of 2012 from Dr. Jim Rudisill that he is a second person who reports that he was literally woken up and felt led to pray for me the night of me passing out under water on Nov 5, 2010, around the same time that it occurred, midnight. His wife verifies that he was woken up to pray for me that night. He couldn't go back to sleep, and kept praying for me for hours, almost all night. He eventually even left his boat and drove to a place where he may have been able to see my house, even sticking his feet in the cold water on that cold night (the air temperature was below 50). He had never been there just to pray before. In his prayers, he even says that he prayed, "breathe!" At 4 AM, he reports that he saw a sign for my dad's real estate company lying on the ground with my dad's number on it, and called him, saying that he was praying for me and believing that my life was in danger. He reports that my dad asked him how he could have known, for there is no way that Jim could have except through some paranormal and/or supernatural means. Jim then proceeded to the hospital and prayed for me some more at my dad's side. His wife Mary remembers the night as well. I did a documentary about his life for a documentary studies class at CNU which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkk2QF_Zqo0&list=PLSo6O5wDaQd_x_GmG6DqU6BAWgOi96pVM I also found out afterwards that my hypothermia helped me to survive without brain damage after being unconscious under water for so long.


  1. praise God Adam - what a story...so grateful you are safe - hallelujah!

  2. Your dad is right; it was truly a miracle - beautifully orchestrated by God! What a powerful testimony....

  3. Oh my word - Adam. I am sobbing right now. I cannot believe all of this happened. I am SO glad that your Dad found you! I just ran across the email you sent out a while ago (I got a new email address - vkay88@gmail.com). I am glad I found it. I hope you are doing well now and are taking care of yourself. Torrie Anderson (used to be Robbins...I got married.).