Dr. Hilary Greenberg

My husband and I are certified divers and have been for the past 11 years.  We wanted to get our children certified as well so we took them to Costa Rica to get their diving certifications.

Our first dive went without mishap.  15 minutes into the second dive, I was drawn away from my husband, my regulator was torn from my mouth and I ended up thrown against a coral reef.

My husband could not find me and the Dive Master already thought that I had surfaced.  I was without my regulator for 5-7 minutes as the dive master and my husband searched for me. Finally, my husband found me sitting on the ocean floor 32 feet from the surface.

I drowned and went into sudden cardiac arrest.  I was underwater, not breathing for about 10 minutes while everyone searched for me.  My husband found me and immediately started giving me breaths.  He inflated my life vest and took me to the surface.  I was brought onto the dive boat and the water was aspirated from my lungs.  He then did CPR on me for 45 minutes – long enough for us to get to shore and for me to get airlifted to Del Ray Hospital in Florida.

I was then taken to Columbia Presbyterian, in New York, for three days.  From there I went into rehabilitation and went through physical, speech and occupational therapy as I had lost my memory from my drowning.

The doctors say that my rehabilitation process has gone better than thought and the prognosis is good for a full recovery.