Man in coma after being injured at VB Oceanfront

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Alexander Donley says a group of his friends came to visit the Oceanfront from Tysons, Virginia, recently — but the visit ended in tragedy.

On Saturday evening, Donley says he and a couple of friends were out in the water when they noticed a crowd forming on the sand near them off 9th Street.

As he got closer, he realized it was his best friend, Ali Shaikh, who had come to visit from Tysons.

“When I saw him they were giving him chest compressions. They also had this bag where they were pushing air into his mouth,” said Donley.

Officials say the call came in for a man in cardiac arrest on the beach.

Donley says scans revealed Shaikh had a neck injury and brain swelling. He’s been in a coma ever since.

“To think a bad unlucky hit could cause damage in this way, or put someone in this position is just unfathomable to me,” stated Donley.

City officials confirm there were red flags flying that day.

Police said the initial investigation suggests there may be other medical factors that led to him going unconscious in the water.

Donley says the family is keeping hope but doctors have said the odds are against him.

“For me, it like almost feels unreal its difficult to imagine a life without him. I think, for me, the only way it makes it easier is that I can help the family as much as I can,” Donley added.

Shaikh is being transported to a hospital in Maryland, where there are doctors who specialize in these types of injuries.

The family is asking for donations and prayers.

If you’re interested in helping with the Donley’s medical bills you can click here.

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