LAWAI — Kai Miranda has a new lease on life.
“I really do feel like I got a second chance. I’m going to start appreciating life more,” he said.
On the afternoon of June 20, the Kauai man was struck by a car on Kaumualii Highway in Lawai.
“I was going to go 7-Eleven for a Slurpee because I was craving one,” he said. “I was basically waiting for cars to pass.”
Miranda said he was on the side of the road near the bus stop and was a few feet from the stop when it happened.
“She swerved and hit me,” Miranda said. “It was pretty traumatizing.”
People at the Lawai post office called 911.
“I jumped right before I was hit, and that is what saved my life,” he said. “I’m sorry if I traumatized anyone but it’s a good story of why not to play in the street when cars are coming.”
According to a preliminary investigation, Miranda was not walking in a marked crosswalk at the time he was hit. He was struck by a Honda Sedan driven by a 69-year-old woman.
The investigation continues.
“I don’t hold it against her,” he said. “I know she didn’t mean it. No one is like ‘I’m going to strike a pedestrian today,’” he said.
The 27-year-old was taken to Wilcox Medical Center, where he was then medevaced to Oahu.
“I was seriously in and out,” he said. “All I remember is waking up and hearing them say we’re going to catheter him. And when they were loading me into helicopter, I remember trying to move my arms, and a guy telling me to keep arms on cart. It’s pretty much flashes here and there.”
He is thankful to the first responders, his friend, Ashley Cameron, his girlfriend, Thalia Souza and her parents, Dena and Calvin Souza for their love and support.
“They all deserve an ‘I love you,’” he said.
Miranda now has a rod in his leg, which he says he will have for the rest of his life. He also has between 25 and 30 pins to hold his tibia together, and his knee cap had to be fused back together.
But despite being in “crippling pain,” Miranda said he can almost walk again.
“All I can do is laugh it off because its almost humorous how much pain I’m in,” he said. “A minute mad is a minute of happiness or serenity lost.”
Miranda, born and raised on Kauai, is living in Michigan with family while he heals. He hopes to return home soon.
He said the incident inspired him to go after some of his life-long goals, including becoming a professional golfer.
“I’ve been golfing since I was 14 or 15,” he said. “I know people usually work their whole lives to be a golfer, and I’m a little late, but you never know.”