When Kevin Hines was an infant, the groundwork already had been laid for him to eventually jump 220 feet from a famous bridge, enter the water at 75 mph and be sucked 70 feet to 80 feet under the surface – yet realize he was a survivor.
“My brain was trying to kill me when I was trying to stay alive, and my brain was winning,” the 31-year-old San Francisco man recalled about his state of mind shortly before jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge 12 years ago in an effort to commit suicide.
Instead of dying, Hines shattered several vertebrae, endured excruciating pain and realized his legs were immobile, which reinforced his fear he would drown.
Nevertheless, Hines inexorably reached the surface before the Coast Guard rescued him, he told a rapt audience of more than 200 mental-health professionals and advocates, agency workers and others who attended Wednesday’s suicide-prevention workshop at Antone’s Banquet Center, 8578 Market St.
He is one of a handful of people to have jumped from the bridge and survived, and among the few to have regained full mobility.
For more on his story, read Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.