Kevin climbed over the railing, leaned back, let go, and felt, he says, “instant regret, powerful, overwhelming. As I fell, all I wanted to do was reach back to the rail, but it was gone.”
He plummetted 220 feet in four seconds, going 75 miles per hour and wracked by the thought all the way down: What have I just done? I don’t want to die. God, please save me.
He hit the water in a seated position and broke his back, shattering his T12, L1, and L2 vertebrae upon impact. Disoriented under the water, in agonizing pain, he was suddenly desperate to live. He flailed to get back to the surface, telling himself, Kevin, you can’t die here. If you die here, no one will ever know that you didn’t want to.
Kevin was rescued by the Coast Guard. Now he tells as many people as possible about watching his hands release their grip on the railing and the instant devastation he felt. He wants everyone to know that the act of suicide leads not to a final sense of satisfaction and relief but to panic-stricken sorrow.
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