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Teen crash victim praises ‘hero’ rescuers

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Thankful to be alive: Kuiana Daniels with Jevon Darrell, left, and Eugene Eversley in the Gosling’s Ward at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Had it not been for crash victim Kuiana Daniels’s two quick-thinking “heroes”, she might not be alive.

The 16-year-old Berkeley Institute student suffered head, neck and other serious injuries and lost a lot of blood in the process after her moped ploughed into the side of North Shore Road eatery Grannie’s Kitchen last Thursday.

Thankfully Eugene Eversley and Jevon Darrell were riding a short distance behind, were able to act quickly and most likely saved her life.

Yesterday they met with her in the Gosling’s Ward at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and The Royal Gazette was able to witness their reunion.

Mr Eversley and Mr Darrell, who just happened to work at Kuiana’s school, were riding home along North Shore when they saw two women in the road shouting for them to stop.

The men did not initially see anything but when they pulled over, they saw tragedy unfolding before their eyes.

Kuiana was lying facedown in a pool of blood with her bike lying on top of her.

While conscious that he should avoid moving a victim in such circumstances, Mr Eversley, who previously worked as an EMT, could see that she could not breathe because the bike guard was wrapped around her neck.

“When we did see her, she was having convulsions,” he recalled. “The people nearby were frightened to see her in that state so they just froze. I just thank God that I have been in the hospital and worked as an EMT for years. It was a surprise but at the same time you just do what you have to do.

“We had to make difficult decisions though, people were there saying ‘don’t do that, don’t move her’. They were actually making it more difficult to deal with. They didn’t see what was going on — the bike frame was up around her neck and her face was down in the blood — she couldn’t breathe and we had no choice.”

Mr Darrell added: “We could see her nose and everything was broken. She was convulsing so she was pushing her face into the blood and we had to pick her up. People were shouting ‘don’t touch her, don’t touch her!’

“I knew Eugene’s history, we both work at Berkeley — I’m in security and he works for maintenance — so I thought whatever he tells me to do I am going to do it. Whatever happens we knew we would have to take responsibility for it if we messed it up — we made that decision.”

After removing the bike, Mr Eversley had the difficult task of removing the plastic that had injured Kuiana’s neck and things seemed to turn from bad to worse.

Mr Eversley explained: “We took the guard from around her neck and she blanked out and I thought she was gone. There was no movement, no breathing and she took what was like a last gasp.

“We had to get her on her side but then, because she was in such shock, she suddenly started battling with us and took a swing and she kept saying, ‘let me up, let me up!’

“I told her, ‘you can’t move you have been in an accident but she said, ‘Let. Me. Up!’ and we knew then that she was strong and she had life in her. She was giving it everything she had.”

Speaking from her hospital bed surrounded by her “heroes” and her mother Renee, Kuiana appeared to be in good spirits despite having sustained a broken nose, a broken jaw, two broken kneecaps, a broken femur and some broken teeth.

Showing with an indomitable sense of humour, she told The Royal Gazette: “I don’t remember everything but I heard talking after the accident, I heard ‘sweetheart, you got into an accident’ [laughs]. I blacked out again after that because the next thing I remember was my clothes being cut off.”

Asked how she was feeling, she said: “I am actually really happy. People are telling me how weird school is without me and so imagine if I was just completely gone. A lot of people have nightmares but I haven’t got that. I feel fine, I just can’t eat.

“The whole part about me swinging at them is actually really funny because it’s not what I am like — I am a mellow person. If I get in an argument in school I can pull myself back because I know my limits.”

Asked if she had anything to say to the men who helped her, she turned to them both and said: “You know, I really hope you are still working when I come back to school.

“I have helped you a few times at school — I’ve held the door open for you.”

Kuiana’s mother added: “I am just blessed that my child is alive. And I am so thankful to these gentlemen who saved her life. They are my heroes.”

Touching reunion: Kuiana Daniels with Jevon Darrell, left, and Eugene Eversley in the Gosling’s Ward at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)