Bismarck man looking for man he said saved his life 20 years ago

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 11:39 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Twenty years ago, Patrick Jensen was in a serious jet ski crash on Lake Sakakawea. He never got a chance to thank the man he says helped save his life.

Now, he’s hoping social media can help him track down his guardian angel.

Jensen has never had so many Facebook notifications.

“There’s been hundreds and hundreds of responses to the post,” he says while scrolling through his Facebook feed.

The post is one Jensen wrote in hope someone can give him the answers he’s been searching for for 20 years, when he was in a jet ski accident on Lake Sakakawea.

“I went down in a trough. It spun me sideways and stopped me. I was going 50 mph,” he recalls. “I laughed at first, and then I remembered someone was behind me; I started to turn and that’s the last thing I remember.”

Jensen’s friend crashed into him.

“I was in and out of knowing what was going on. I remember him saying, ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry.’” Jensen says. “We decided no matter how bad it hurt we needed to get to the shore. I remember looking toward the shore and here comes this couple to the water, dressed in their Sunday best. I remember him saying, ‘Don’t take him out of the water,’ then he reached in, turned me over really slowly and stayed in the water with me.”

The man stayed in the water with Jensen until the ambulance arrived. His injuries were serious: broken ribs, punctured and severed organs.

“I had many surgeries. My diaphragm, spleen, pancreas, ribs and lungs were all damaged. At one point I had three chest tubes,” he recalls. “I have scars still all over that side of my body.”

Jensen spent nearly 40 days in the hospital.

“Every year about this time, I think about it. It’s impacted my life and how I live it all the time.”

This year, Jensen decided it was time to try and find the man who he says saved his life. So, he turned to social media.

“I’d like to say thank you,” he explains.

His post has been shared more than 1,500 times.

“I don’t even know all the places it’s been shared!”

Jensen knows his search might not be successful. But the feedback on his post has restored his faith in people..

“People that didn’t know the story giving words of encouragement and of course saying somebody was looking out for me and that God has a purpose for me,” Jensen says.

And if he never finds the man, Jensen says that’s ok. But he hopes his story can inspire kindness.

“if you get the opportunity to be kind to a stranger, please do,” Jensen pleads. “You never know who you might be helping. I appreciate it to this day.”

If you have information that might help Jensen find the couple he’s searching for, you can reach out to him on Facebook.

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