‘Miracles happen’: Utah family grateful for timely rescue on river in Hawaii

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 23:44:31-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – A Utah family's kayak trip on a river in Hawaii turned into a nightmare they say only the angels could fix.

Jake and Emily Shoff of South Jordan rented two kayaks to cruise on a river in Kauai, but the unthinkable happened when the tip of Jake’s kayak hit a wasp's nest.

He had two of their three children with him. Emily, who is 6 months pregnant, was following in the second kayak along with the couple’s 3.5-year-old.

To get away from the stinging wasps, Jake capsized his kayak. What he didn't know is that he's allergic to their stings, and he soon found himself in trouble.

That’s when two women adept in medical procedures came to Jake’s rescue.

"Jake was starting to turn white and start to choke and seize, he was seizing cause his jaw was locked, he started to foam at the mouth, his head kept bobbing forward into the water," said Emily Shoff.

The two women kept Jake conscious, and a man on a paddle board flagged down an ambulance.  Jake credits his recovery to them, and in part to the prayer chain involving friends and strangers.

“I just feel so eternally grateful for all those that sacrificed and prayed for me,” he said. “The power of prayer is real and miracles happen, and I’m alive because of that.”

Jake Shoff says the doctors told him there isn't a medical reason why he survived even one wasp sting, and he adds that he's humbled by this happy outcome.