BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Paying it forward — a lot of people talk about it, but Chris Harper of Daphne is actually doing it after one of the worst experiences of his life.
“I’m fortunate to be alive.” The first time we met Harper, he was wounded but not broken after battling Hurricane Sally in Perdido Key, Fla., at Oyster Bar Marina. “Roughly two o’clock in the morning I abandoned ship, go into the water. I survived somehow in the marina for maybe two to three hours bobbing up and down and hanging on to whatever I could.”
After sunrise, his calls for help were answered by a couple at a nearby RV park, and he was rescued. They have remained friends, “Josh and his wife, I’ve been with several times,” he says.
Unbeknownst to him, family and friends started a GoFundMe account to help cover medical costs but, he wanted to do something else with the money.
“Children don’t always get a lot of options to make choices in their lives, so whatever we can do to help their lives become better.” He is donating the money to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis. “They do so many miracles and they do so much for small children,” he says.
Harper knows how lucky he is, “Everything has a purpose,” he says. “This is too unreal. Things are happening too good. You live through this, you’re not suppose to live through this.” Now he’s looking for the next opportunity to pay it forward.