Surfer Kohl Christensen was hospitalized recently after suffering a life-threatening skull fracture. The injury happened while he was surfing in Hawaii on Dec. 31. According to Surfer Magazine, the wave stretched out too, and Christensen slipped as he tried to move his board inside the barrel.
The report says that Christensen was knocked unconscious during the wipeout. What caused the injury was unclear, but he was believed to have hit his head on the reef or on his board. The North Shore Lifeguards were able to move in and rescue Christensen, and he was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery.
Christensen's friend, Casey Goepel, revealed on Instagram that the surfer is in stable condition. He is expected to make a full recovery after the life-saving surgery.
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"Please send your thoughts and prayers to Kohl Christensen and his family. Yesterday, at the end of a 2nd reef bomb, Kohl wiped out and hit his head on the reef. He cut his head open and fractured his skull. Thanks to the incredible team @northshorelifeguardassociation and first responders, Kohl was swiftly rescued and given the best care possible," Goepel wrote.
"After successful brain surgery, he's exceeding all expectations and we're hoping for a speedy recovery. We are eternally grateful for his surgical team at Queens. At this time, Kohl needs to rest and heal. Please send him and his family positive thoughts and good energy as he embarks in a strong recovery."
Christensen spent five days in the hospital before his eventual release, a time in which he thought about the near-fatal accident and revealed that he is seeing the world clearer than ever before. The surfer is feeling fortunate, blessed, and grateful after being able to spend time with his wife, kids, and dog once again.
Surfer reports that Christensen is actually the co-founder of the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group. This organization trains surfers in safety protocols for dangerous wipeouts and similar situations. Some of the topics covered during the December safety summits are high-surf risk management, including case scenario analysis, apnea training, safety product showcases, CPR/AED training, and open-ocean first-responder training.
Christensen originally gathered a group of surfers at his home in 2011 to address the lack of risk management in big-wave lineups. This was brought on by the death of fellow big-wave surfer Sion Milosky. This group continued to hold annual safety summits, culminating in the BWRAG being formed in 2014.
(Photo Credit: BRIAN BIELMANN/AFP via Getty Images)