LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The 47-year-old Orange County man who was nearly paralyzed in a surfing accident met the teenager who saved his life Thursday.
“Exhilarating…to get to see the kid who saved me…brought me back with my family. There’s nothing more I could ask for…for what he did. I’m indebted to him forever,” said Pete Statti.
“It’s good to see him again. Looking forward to surfing with him eventually once he gets better,” said 16-year-old Conner Reeves.
Three weeks ago, Statti was surfing in shallow water in Huntington Beach when his board caught the edge of a wave and sent him flying.
His head hit a sandbar and Statti said he couldn’t move.
“It was the scariest feeling ever,” he said. “Just floating face-down…I almost didn’t make it. I must have been underwater face-down for a minute and a half…just thinking that was it. I’m done.”
Reeves, who normally doesn’t surf that stretch of beach, was surfing nearby and came across Statti.
Not knowing what was wrong, he flipped the injured surfer over.
“He’s my guardian angel, that kid. He was there at the right time,” said Statti.
“If I had to…definitely, I’d do it again,” said Reeves.
Over the last few weeks, Statti has started to regain movement in his body and plans to make a full recovery.
The surfer’s family has been right by his side through the entire process.
“You never really know how life can change in an instant,” said Statti’s wife, Michelle. “You shouldn’t take it for granted. Every day, you should try to love each other and spend as much time as you can together.”
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