Bay Area women save man from life-threatening wasp attack in Hawaii

KAUAI, HAWAII (KGO) -- A family of five, with one on the way, embarked on a kayaking adventure in Kauai, Hawaii last week.

As he paddled to the dock, Jake Shoff clipped a wasp's nest. "I knew I had been stung a lot," he said.

Two women from San Jose, Michelle Garcia Winner, and Pam Crooke showed up as Shoff went into anaphylactic shock, falling into the water. The women jumped in and wedged themselves between two kayaks to keep him afloat.

"Pam is whispering in his ear, 'Don't die on us, your family is watching. You can not die. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe,'" said Winner. "And the kids would yell, 'breathe dad.'"

His wife Emily, who is six months pregnant, called 911, while Winner kicked Shoff to keep his brain alert.

"It's 20 minutes, my arm's going numb, Pam's arms going numb and we're like-- how long can you keep holding a body up," Winner told ABC7 News.

Eventually, the lifeguards arrived-- and more than an hour and a half after the wasp attack. Shoff made it to a hospital.

"As soon as he got that last shot of adrenaline at the hospital he came to and his vitals were amazing," Emily. "And everyone was like this is a miracle and the doctors were like you shouldn't be alive right now."

"They literally put their life on the line to save mine," Shoff said, commending the two women.

Winner says she'd do it again, but there's one thing Shoff did to save his own life. "If that man was not wearing a life vest, there is no way he'd be alive."
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.