CRAIG – Redefining Scuba Diving: Breathing Under Water Again
Elizabeth “EB” Forst is ready for any challenge, living by her mantra that anything is possible. She proved that earlier this summer when she broke barriers descending into the waters of Cozumel, Mexico post injury as a quadriplegic.
EB’s level of injury is a C4, C5, meaning she has no use of her arms and legs and little movement in her neck, making her the highest level quad ever taken on one of our scuba trips. Careful thought and thorough preparation were essential before diving into the clear blue waters and colorful coral reef. Prior to her injury, EB has done over 100 dives in her lifetime, so she was familiar with the task ahead of her.
Eye to eye communication was key. Realizing the intuitive nature with each other, her dive buddies would rotate clearing her ears and their own. They would go back and forth, often communicating just by looking into each other’s eyes.
EB was a water baby before she was hurt, and she will continue to be a water baby after her injury. Cozumel was an ideal location for her first dive because of the way the current moves you. When EB got into the water and was neutrally buoyant, she tended to be in an upright position, seeing everything with the help of her dive buddies.
“As soon as you break the level of the ocean and you see this beautiful coral, I realized quickly that I was on level playing field with my dive instructors, buddies, and all of the other able bodied divers on my boat. Being under water and breathing under water is the most freeing of your disability. You don’t think about it. You’re not attached to a chair, you’re not seated. Your floating and free.” — Elizabeth “EB” Forst