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Mathieu Godin is looking for the woman who saved his life after he suffered severe neck trauma 13 years ago.
He says he was at Oka Beach on July 7, 2010, enjoying the sunshine and water with three of his friends when he almost drowned.
“I just went fast [into the water] and my forehead hit the sand and I heard a noise,” he said. “My body was paralyzed instantly.”
The Sorel native says he tried to pull himself to safety but could not move his body.
“I tried to get my friends’ attention by moving my arms but they weren’t working,” he recalls. “I literally kind of drowned.”
He says his friends finally noticed he was struggling and rushed him back to shore.
“A girl stepped in right away and told my friend what to do,” Godin said. “She put me on the ground and started doing heart massages and resuscitation.”
He says it took 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.
“My friends talked with the girl maybe a couple of minutes and I never saw her again,” he said.
He says he’s been looking for her ever since and has taken to TikTok to try to find her.
Godin says he doesn’t remember much about her — not her face nor her name.
“I just remember she was blonde,” he said.
At the time, he estimates she may have been about 20 years old.
“She told my friend that she was studying,” he said, adding she spoke French. “She wasn’t even a nurse yet. She was studying nursing and she was in her second year.”
Now, 13 years later, Godin says he remains paralyzed from the chest down; he can move his arms but not his fingers.
“I would like to talk to her a bit, maybe say, ‘thank you,’ and I would like to know how she experienced it also because it must have been stressful,” he said. “It was a good test, and in my opinion, she was made for this job because after what she did, I hope she’s still in this career.”
He says he’s also reached out to officials at Oka Beach and the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ) in an effort to find the mystery woman.