Professional surfer Josh Kerr emerged from a wipeout at Pipeline with immediate pins and needles through his neck and shoulders followed by a loss of movement down the left side of his body while competing in the 2012 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Fearful of a serious nerve injury, doctors rushed him to Kahuku Medical Center for x-ray services and proper diagnosis. KMC service was efficient and thorough, allowing Josh to return to the contest site to not only recuperate from his injury and make his next heat, but to eventually place second in the Pipeline Masters, behind newly crowned world champion, Joel Parkinson.
29 year-old Australian Josh Kerr, surfer on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) tour since 2007, entered the Pipeline Masters with a slight neck injury. Prior to the Pipeline contest, he suffered from whiplash. On his second wave in heat 4 with Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina, Josh wiped out headfirst. As he hit the wave, his head turned just slightly. When he emerged, the left side of his arm had a tingling sensation, he felt burning pain in his fingers, and numbness in his hand. He was in enough pain and concern to paddle in, leaving his heat early. Doctors came to his aide and insisted an x-ray would be the safest way to make sure there was not more serious and severe nerve injury.
North Shore based Dr. Leland Dao assisted Josh to Kahuku Medical Center. Josh says he was seen “right away” and that the entire procedure was “quick and painless. They have a very nice staff.”
Though Josh left his heat early and was rushed to KMC, he in fact won his heat (Slater and Medina’s wave scores were not better than his), and as it happened, winning allowed him to advance to the quarter finals, and skip over the next two rounds of surfing. This was a stroke of good luck. It afforded him the time (2.5 hours) to go to KMC for the x-ray and rush back to recuperate with the contest physical therapists and massage therapists. He received the call saying that he suffered no major spinal injury which was the extra peace of mind he needed as worked through his injury.
Josh proceeded to perform at the highest level, beating out competitor Yadin Nichol in the quarter final, and eventually beating Kelly Slater in the semi-final leading him to his final heat with Joel Parkinson. Josh Kerr came in second in the Pipeline Masters 2012 in an astounding performance of athleticism, luck, persistence and the help from numerous health care professionals!
Congratulations Josh and best of luck in the upcoming ASP World Tour!