SUNNI: Searing pain hit the center of my chest. I can’t breathe! Is this my heart? Is this a heart attack 40 feet underwater?
“Stay calm, breathe calm,” I told myself. I tried to take a breath and the pain struck
again. My eyes searched for the dive master. I must go up. I grabbed for Steve my dive
partner. I pointed to the center of my chest and motioned that I was in trouble and had to go up. I trusted that Steve would regulate my ascent so that my lungs would not
explode by ascending too fast as he had been scuba diving for over 30 years. I had to stay calm, I knew that I must exhale on the ascent or I could burst my lungs.
The pain struck again and I was afraid to breathe through my regulator...it hurt too much. Though this was only my fourth dive, it might be my last. We were five miles from land and diving off a small coral rock formation with caves.
I felt the panic as I remembered all I did so very wrong in my diving class. I commanded myself to focus. Just exhale, Sunni…all the way up. I had to completely surrender and trust that Steve would take care of me.
STEVE: When Sunni grabbed my arm I looked into her eyes and recognized that there
was something seriously wrong. We had been diving perfectly for about 15 minutes.
She was relaxed and we had just seen a beautifully colored eel and touched a surprising black rock that turned out to be a sponge. I took her arm and began the slow ascent when I saw what looked like blood begin to fill her mask and come out of her nose.
I knew we were deeper than she had ever gone and I saw the fear in her eyes. If this really were blood, she would be lucky to last 30 seconds when we reached surface. Blood usually means a burst lung and that means death. We were near a rock outcropping that we grasped for when we reached surface. It was covered with sharp coral and slippery algae that made it difficult to hang on to. I saw Sunni’s face in the sunlight--her lips were completely dark blue, a sign of no oxygen. I grabbed her mask and pulled it off. She gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
I flipped her weight belt open and let it drop to the bottom to take the pressure off her waist while trying to hang on to her because she kept loosing consciousness. I opened her BCD jacket. Her breathing was gurgling like a person possessed. Her lungs must have been full of salt water. She wasn’t having a heart attack. The regulator had malfunctioned and she had inhaled salt water. This causes great pain and often causes vomiting. She coughed and sputtered and threw out more blood through her nose and mouth. She passed out. I didn’t know if she had died. I was struggling to get some kind of hold on this cutting and slimy rock surface as the water washed over my face...because I was sinking.
My constant thought was to keep Sunni's face out of the water and now I feared that I was going to go down with her. Exhaustion pulled at me as a big wave hit me from behind and tore both of us off the rock. She slammed into my chest and luckily I had just released my weight belt so that I could float more easily. I grabbed her to me. The undertow sucked us down, and then it was like a washing machine, tumbling us under the water twice and swishing us 15-20 feet to the right. When our heads popped out of the water we could see that we were going to be slammed into a rock canyon. She screamed and at least I knew she was still alive. We hit the end of the canyon...
SUNNI: I opened my eyes just in time to see the sharp crags of the rock canyon coming
toward my face. I screamed. Terror hit me again…I can’t breathe!!! I knew that I
couldn’t live through a wave pounding like this, especially if I hit my head or broke a leg. Slam!!!!!
And then I felt myself tumbling under the water again and being sucked back out to the sea. I knew I could die. I was paralyzed. At least the wet suit was keeping me buoyant. I was terrified--as scared as I had ever been in my life. Now I could feel Steve at my back as we were tumbling under the water and suddenly the wave reared up and spit us up onto a rock ledge above the waters surface, completely out of the water...me on my belly and Steve beside me. As the wave washed back over us it split and went around us so that we were not pulled back into the Aegean Sea.
As it receded, Steve realized that he had perfect grasp handles for both of his hands and a good place for his feet. He pounded on my back to make me cough. I choked on the water and spit it out and said, “Steve, if I don’t make it let me slide into the water and leave me here.” I felt totally sure that if another wave hit us I would die here and I was at peace with the thought of death. I was at peace and ready to let go. He shouted, “I love you and we are not leaving this rock.” Then he continued to pound on my back and lean me to the side to cough out the liquids in my lungs. He told me, “We are safe now, I have a good hold on these rocks.” My fear was that another wave would wash over us and take my life. Moments later, the wave had not hit yet. Another moment passed and still no wave.
We both looked behind us and the sea had returned to perfect calm. There had been only two waves on an otherwise perfectly calm day. Those waves saved my life. Like the sea said, “It is not your time just now,” and spit me high up onto the rocks where I could rest until the dive team came to pick me up. Steve said, “Your angels are really looking out for you. That was your angel who threw us up on this rock and gave me this perfect handhold.” I felt myself sigh and my eyes welled up with tears. I could feel his love and the love and protection of the angels, and I passed out.
STEVE: Sunni always talks about her angels and how they protect her. Well, now I
believe her. That wave had to be angels. The sea had returned to perfect calm.
I knew she was still alive and I told myself, “I am just going to keep pounding on her back to get her to release the fluid in her lungs until the dive master comes with the boat to take us to shore.” Sunni always talks about miracles and now I believe in miracles. Thank you, God!
SUNNI: The doctors at the small emergency facility were very alarmed at the severity of this accident, especially at my age, 57. Four hours had passed since the accident and now they had to take me to another facility for X-rays before they could even give me the oxygen so necessary to get my brain to work my muscles. And then the power went out.
There is no hospital on Mykonos, so it would be another four hours of fear and paralysis before I could take the ferry to the hospital in Syros. The medical team there was astonished that I had survived this long because the X-rays still showed a lot of salt water in my lungs. I laid in the hospital bed and prayed for angels to heal me. I called in every connection to Divine Healing Power. I talked to myself in positive ways.
“I am having a miraculous healing.”
“I’m getting better every minute.”
“The doctors will be amazed at my miraculous healing.”
I thanked God and my angels for saving me. Now that I finally had oxygen, my mind was beginning to clear and I knew I had to focus on a positive and desired result. I decided that I was on holiday with seven days left and I wanted to see Athens and the other islands that were scheduled on my trip.
The doctor had advised me that I should stay a week. By the next day the doctors were amazed that I was remarkably better. I continued to pull in the healing energy and the second day they let me go. I had a full recovery! We left the hospital on a motorcycle and I asked Steve to take me to the church I had seen from my hospital window because I wanted to light candles and thank God and all my angels for the