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Student flatlines, lives to share incident

We are all aware of the phrase “back from the dead.” We have heard it plenty of times before, but it is not common to actually speak with a person who has gone through a similar situation and live to tell it.

Jojuan Hunter was only 6 years old when he suffered a tragic accident that left him flatlined for more than 15 minutes.

“I was at an after school program similar to a day care and they took us to Waikiki Beach,” Hunter said. “I remember surfing, but it was far out and I was only a little kid.”

Hunter said that he vividly remembers trying to surf but was wiped out instantly as he went farther into the water.

“I remember flying off the board, and there was a strap that went from the board to my ankle,” Hunter said. “The seaweed got wrapped around the strap and that ended up holding me down in the water.”

While trapped in the seaweed under the water, Hunter said that he remembers instantly panicking making it harder for him to survive the incident.

“As a little kid, not thinking to just unstrap from the sea wood and the boards strap, I freaked out,” Hunter said. “So I start to struggle with the sea wood by toggling with it and next thing I know, I blacked out.”

After about 15 seconds pass, Hunter found himself in a situation that he was unfamiliar with. At first he thought it was all a dream but he then realized that he was experiencing something much different.

“It felt like I was in a worm hole,” Hunter said. “It was black, but I saw flashes of white speckles. I heard voices as I traveled through the worm hole and at the end of the worm hole, was a light.”

Then he felt someone.

“I felt hands grazing me,” Hunter said. “Once I got closer to the light, the worm hole ended and everything was just silent and peaceful. I continued to get closer to the light and once I did, I opened up my eyes and I was in the back of an ambulance on my way to a hospital.”

Hunter noted that paramedics did try to revive him while he was unconscious on the beach. Hunter said that the paramedics told him later on that he was clinically dead at the beach.

“I drowned in the ocean,” Hunter said. “They tried to revive me on the beach. At that point, they put me in the ambulance. They had to pump my stomach because I was so small at the time and I had so much water inside of me.”

After arriving at the hospital, Hunter did have to stay in for a day to make sure there weren’t any other complications. He had to visit the doctor once but he stated that there wasn’t any after effect that affected him moving forward.

“After the incident, everything went back to normal,” Hunter said. “As I got older I started to tell people about my experience, and of course people did not believe me.”

Portia Ray has been friends with Hunter for about 10 years now, and she admitted that once she heard the story, she immediately thought he was lying to sound cool.

“I did think he was lying,” Ray said. “But his mom eventually backed it up so I ended up seeing the truth in it. It was very shocking. It was a pretty interesting story actually.”

Ray felt that Hunter experience is something that he will never forget because you hear people talking about dying a lot, but Hunter has actually had a real life experience.

Student Chantel Lee felt a little of the same but admitted that she did gain a tremendous amount of respect for Hunter.

“We were just having a conversation about his childhood and that ended up being brought up,” Lee said. “I was shocked and impressed so it kind of made me respect him more. I was just really impressed with the felt that he went through something so life changing.”

Hunter did state that he stayed away from swimming pools and beaches for a while but with encouragement from friends, he eventually overcame the fear and has been swimming ever since.

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