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Thread: Putting The Pieces Back Together: Greg Lewis's Revival

  1. #1

    Putting The Pieces Back Together: Greg Lewis's Revival

    Greg Lewis aboard his Pedrick 55' "Epilogue" looks to a happier ending of his tale
    which nearly ended tragically.

    Deborah Bach of 3 Sheets Northwest reports one sailors dream turning nightmarish and
    coming full circle:

    Six years ago, Greg Lewis got his first boat and embarked on an extensive restoration with dreams of starting his own charter company.

    It literally nearly killed him.

    Lewis had been anxious to get working on the 55-foot sailboat, which he’d gotten for free. The previous owner had gutted the boat with the intent to restore it, but fell on hard times and abandoned the project. Lewis took possession of the boat and had it trucked from San Diego to an Everett boatyard in February 2005.

    The morning after the boat arrived, Lewis, then 34, headed over to the yard with a couple of friends to start working on it. It was Feb. 19, 2005, a day he will never forget.

    The plan was to build a canopy to keep water out of the boat over the winter. Lewis had been on the boat just a few minutes when he went to straighten a bent stanchion that would act as a support for the canopy. As Lewis pushed on the stanchion it suddenly snapped, sending him hurtling overboard 16 feet to the ground.

    He remembers nothing about his panicked friend calling 911, the helicopter ride to Harborview Hospital, the rush to the intensive care unit. Along with a cracked pelvis and shoulder blade, Lewis suffered a subdural hematoma, a life-threatening traumatic brain injury that causes bleeding to rapidly fill the brain, compressing brain tissue.

    He underwent surgery to remove part of his skull to make room for his swelling brain. The first 72 hours were touch and go. Doctors didn’t know if he would make it.

    But Lewis awoke two weeks after the accident, marking the starting point of a journey that would test his will and ultimately solidify his feelings about his boat. After leaving intensive care he began rehabilitation, learning how to walk and talk again.

    Recovering at his parents’ house in Virginia, Lewis struggled with word recall, becoming frustrated at his suddenly limited vocabulary. Reading was impossible — his eyes would run across the words quicker than his brain could process them. The injury impacted the right side of his brain, leaving Lewis, a left-hander, unable to write for a while.

    “I was a wreck,” he recalls. “It took my brain a long time to put things back together and figure things out. It was hard, and there were moments that were scary and despairing and anxiety-provoking.”

    Lewis worked doggedly at his recovery, playing chess, going to the gym and practicing juggling to rebuild his motor skills. Incredibly, a battery of tests nine months after the accident showed that his brain looked normal.

    “Everything sort of came back over a 12-month period,” Lewis says. “I’m just so lucky that I came out just fine. It’s kind of a miracle.”

    Just five months after the accident, Lewis started working on his boat — this time wearing a harness. Needing money for the restoration, he returned to his job as a mental health counselor after only eight months.

    But while Lewis’s recovery was proceeding remarkably fast, the boat work was more daunting than he’d expected. For a year and a half he drove up to Edmonds three or four days a week, spending virtually all his spare time working on the boat. He sealed the decks and installed new windows and hatches, working through the fall.

    The following summer the boat was moved to Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle for an interior rebuild. Lewis hired a rigger, an electrician to rewire the boat and another crew to restore new overhead hatches and redo the galley. The rest of the work he did himself, with the help of friends.

    The restoration took a grueling five years, and at one point Lewis considered selling the boat. But he decided to stick it out and pursue his goal of launching a charter company that would offer experiential trips intended to both connect passengers with nature and foster self-reflection.

    As he worked on the boat, Lewis pondered its name – Tin Tin, which he didn’t like. Lewis wanted a female name, something meaningful, but couldn’t come up with the right one.

    It came to him one night while he was out dancing with a friend at a country music bar. During one song the music stopped, then kept going. The tacked-on ending made Lewis think of a word: epilogue. The boat had been sailed around the world by its previous owner and was, in a sense, in the epilogue of its life. And the word carried personal meaning for Lewis.

    “The whole process leading up to getting a boat, the accident, the continuation of a story …. I think we are always living an epilogue of one story or another in our lives,” he says. “There are so many stories and layers to our lives that we’re always living in an epilogue.”

    The Full Story

    Epilogues Website ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  2. #2
    Nice story, thanks for sharing. Best of luck to Greg!

  3. #3
    Very cool story.
    Concrete and cars are their own prison bars....
    Meridian Racing

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