When U.S. Army veteran Mike Hicks was visiting the Hawaiian island of Oahu with his wife, he never thought he’d actually get in the ocean.
Due to a terrible accident, Mike was left with a broken back and he lost all use of everything below his waist. Unable to walk, his bucket list dream of dipping his toes in the Hawaiian ocean didn’t look too promising.
But Mike’s wife, Ann, was determined to get him into the water. She decided to approach the lifeguard stand and told the man named Hizson Keali’i Sr., his story.
Ann explained how badly Mike wanted to dip his toes in the water, but he was in a wheelchair.
“It touched my heart, ’cause I’m blessed every day to be able to do what someone else only dreams of,” Keali’i, 45, told The Huffington Post. So he told the couple to come back the next morning.
When they arrived, Keali’i used a beach wheelchair to navigate a bank of sand and guide Mike into the water. Since it was Mike’s first time back in the ocean since the accident, Keali’i said he was grinning from ear to ear. But this was just the first day. The next time Mike and Ann returned to the beach, Keali’i wanted to take Mike surfing.
He carried the veteran into the water, helped him onto a stand-up paddle board and paddled Mike into some waves.
The look on Mike’s face was absolutely priceless, and the experience was everything he hoped for and more.
It was “a fantastic feeling of speed and freedom,” Mike told the Huffington Post. “Something I never thought I would ever feel again.”
And he was happy Keali’i’s friend captured the entire thing on camera. “‘My mind said, ‘Dude, this is a Kodak moment!'” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Now that’s some aloha!
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[Featured Image Credit: Facebook- George Kalilikane]