On July 18, 2009 David Humes and his three daughters Isabella (age 10), Natasha (age 13), and Mia (age 2) were invited by family friends to go camping, fishing, swimming, and boating at Lake Moss, located in Florida. Their group was enjoying a day boating on the lake when the captain , owner of the 24’ pontoon boat and a friend of the family, skippered the watercraft toward the center of the lake for one last dip of the day in the water. The captain checked his depth finder and noted that the depth was 14’ and shouted to all that this was a good spot to jump in. David and Isabella were teasing one another about who would be first in the water, and, in a split second tragic moment, David dove off the front of the boat. No one realized that a sand bar laid just 3 feet below the surface. The force of the impact to his head and neck shattered the C-3 and C-4 vertebrate, damaging the spinal cord and leaving him immediately paralyzed from his chest and below. Although the force of the impact shattered several teeth as well as vertebrate, David Humes somehow remained conscious. However, he was now face down in a dead man float position, drowning.
As David lie floating just below the surface and drifting face down in a dead man float position, almost everyone back on the boat believed he was playing a joke. Isabella, however, was not fooled at all. She was analyzing the situation and, after several minutes, jumped in after her dad and found the water level to only reach her waist. Standing easily in the water, she was able to take action by picking up her father’s arm. It dropped lifelessly back into the water. At this time, all those back on the boat recognized the true depth of the water and the magnitude of the situation. Another would be rescuer also jumped in to assist and lifted his head out of the water. After several minutes of gurgling, choking, and spitting up the water, David was able to whisper “I need oxygen;I broke my neck; call 911 and make sure they bring a helicoptor“. Natasha immediately sprang into action, grabbed her dad’s cell phone, and called in the emergency. Still cognitive, David then requested flotation devices to support his head and neck. Again, Natasha sprang into action and secured the seat cushions from the boat and jumped into the water to place them under her father. As David was struggling for life, Natasha kept begging him to stay awake and “breathe”, “breathe”, “breathe”. Finally, local rangers commandeered a boy scout boat and retrieved David after he lay in the water motionless for 35 minutes while struggling for every breath---struggling to survive. The rangers put forth enormous physical effort to place him in a survival basket while stabilizing his neck and head and transported him back to the dock. The life flight helicopter that was dispatched landed in the parking lot and David Humes was loaded and flown to a local trauma center at Orlando Regional Medical Center, (ORMC) where the medical staff stabilized him and prepared him for multiple surgeries that lied ahead.
It should be noted that weeks later, David revealed that Natasha’s orders to “breathe” were instrumental in his fight to survive.