A Maui-based firefighter died on Saturday, a little over a week after he was swept into a storm drain and carried out to sea while responding to heavy floods on the Hawaiian island. Tre Evans-Dumaran, 24, had been injured during the storms on Jan. 27 and died after a “roller coaster” stay at the hospital, his family and the county said.
The incident happened just over a week ago as Maui was placed under a flash flood warning. County officials said on Jan. 30 that Evans-Dumaran had been responding to storm conditions in Kihei, an area along Maalaea Bay on the island’s western side, when he was “swept into a storm drain.” He was later found 800 yards away near the shoreline.
Evans-Dumaran, who had been with the fire department for more than three years, was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was initially said to be making “positive and promising signs of progress.” County officials said on Jan. 30 that he was in the intensive care unit with “multiple life saving measures in place.”
Evans-Dumaran’s mother had posted updates on a GoFundMe page she made to help with his medical expenses.
“When Tre’ got his first lungs xray done in the hospital it showed completely white, meaning there was no air in his lungs,” his mother Chelsie Evans wrote last week, adding that doctors finally started to see black dots indicating air the following day. But that night, doctors found that the right side of her son’s heart was struggling.
Her son continued to show signs of improvement, at one point even meeting physician commands for him to open his eyes and “give a thumbs up,” Evans said, but it soon became a “roller coaster” as he became less responsive. Then on Sunday, his mother announced that he had died the day prior.
“OK Lord. I hear you loud and clear. Your plan. No negotiations. No plea agreements. Your plan. Your plan was put in to place when I told Tre’ it was ok to go. That I will carry the pain of missing him for the rest of my life if it meant no more pain, no more suffering, when I realized my negotiations with you were no good,” Evans wrote in an GoFundMe update. “But Lord, hear me. You created THE most amazing soul and you gifted him to a teenage girl not ready to be a mom, but I took you up for the challenge. I loved that gift more than I knew a 15 year old’s heart could bare. I did my very best, although imperfect, to care for this beautiful gift with my whole being.”
City officials also confirmed the news, and Fire Chief Brad Ventura said in a statement that “one loss is one too many.”
“Tre’ loved being a firefighter and he loved those he worked with,” Ventura said. “Serving the community came naturally to him because he was so happy to serve people.”
Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr. said he is “devastated” by Evans-Dumaran’s death.
“My heart was broken by the news. Every day our emergency responders put their lives at risk to help others, looking out for the community they serve,” he said. “This is a reminder of that risk and the courageous work they do for all of us. … We will focus on supporting Tre’s ‘ohana and fellow firefighters with comfort and prayers.”
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