"Everything I did to train for the surf saved my life that day."
And of all the thing surfing has gifted your life, the cancerous skin, inability to enjoy family time when there are waves, pronounced grouchiness, heightened grouchiness, wasted time etc. would you ever guess that it might one day also save your brain from extensive damage if you fall into a coma and nearly die?
It’s true, unbelievably true, and we must fly digitally to meet our hero in Western Australia where they breed them tough, strong and true. A young man with a name so west Australian that it only needs be uttered to smell the vineyards and road killed kangaroos baking under a warm sun.
And, a bit of backstory, Targe was out exercising when he felt a migraine coming on and went down. Out. Coma. His family learned from the doctors that the 22-year-old had a rare condition that led to an aneurysm and “bleak” prognosis and they agreed to honor his wishes and yank the plug.
But fate intervened when a new doctor came in and advised the family to wait just a few more days.
Within that time span, Targe suddenly began to shows signs of life, slowly making movements, and finally woke up four weeks later.
Despite a grueling recovery process, he revealed he didn’t suffer brain damage thanks to his training as a surfer, which taught him how to hold his breath for extended periods of time.
‘I was without oxygen for a long time, doctors said afterwards that I should have brain damage, but I guess I was used to holding my breath,’ he said.
‘Everything I did to train for the surf saved my life that day.’
And have you ever read a happier story?
Everything I have done to train for the surf journalism has saved my life too.
While we’re together though, what are your instructions, either stated or internal, on what happens if you fall into severe coma?
How long would you like to, would you like to let it linger?