The song, All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, rang true for Gary Bosley when he got two new pearly whites.
The brave soul was rewarded with a toothy smile for his life-saving actions during Hurricane Ivan.
The gesture was a special thank-you gift from forever grateful couple Lindsay Wright and Dentist Robert Parr, who said their thank yous could not be enough for the man who had put his life at risk to save theirs.
The extraction, new teeth and crown work could not have come at a better time said Mr. Bosley who had been suffering toothaches.
‘I am very happy and grateful with the gift they gave me although I expected no thanks for saving someone’s life,’ said Gary.
‘Gary is a person who wanted no thanks for what he did. Being an independent free-spirited sort of person we think he is very special and wanted to have him looking good for Christmas,’ said Lindsay, who has since married her long-time love Robert Parr.
Excerpts taken from the Survival Stories book written by Terri Merren tell of the couple’s experience:
‘We could hear Lindsay and Robert’s security alarm going off for about an hour and that combined with the howling of the wind was awful. We were just wishing it would quit and thought the batteries were never going to die on it,’ said Gary.
‘Out of our upstairs window, we watched Lindsay and Robert’s house come apart. Lindsay was at the bedroom window. So we were hollering down to them, ‘You got to get out of there.’
‘All we were looking at was Lindsay in that window and thinking how to get to them.
‘Randy and I ran down the stairs and, right as we got down to the bottom, a big wave came and my thought was that they’d never survive it.
‘So when the wave passed through, Randy and I went out and they were there, hanging on to a tree between their house and ours.’
Lindsay said, ‘We grabbed the tree and held on and out of nowhere these two guys came and made this human chain. Although I knew Randy, and I had met Gary the day before with his cup of coffee in his hand, at that point in time I had no recollection of who they were or what they were. It was now about 8.30 on Sunday morning.
‘Randy took hold of Gary, Gary took hold of Robert’s hand and Robert had hold of me.
‘They were taking their own lives into their hands to come out from where they were upstairs in the other house. The whole of their downstairs was completely gone and looked like an open garage so they had to come down those stairs into the hurricane to rescue us off this tree.’
Lindsay said when they reached there she was just shaking and shivering all over and all she could say was ‘I’m alive!’
Sitting there watching the house crumble, she said they were given only 20 minutes to get out of that window before the house disappeared.
Gary said they spent the rest of the day hoping that their place wouldn’t go down like Lindsay and Robert’s.
Gary said he told a friend before the storm he wanted to be close enough to experience it but far enough away to live. ‘I think I accomplished that. Ivan was the first hurricane that I have ever seen and I don’t really care if I every see another one.
‘One thing that was hard to believe was that it wasn’t until three weeks or a month after the storm when we were talking to Lindsay and Robert that we found out they never heard us hollering down to them during the storm because the wind was howling so badly. We always thought that they had heard us, which we thought was why they had come out the window when they did. But they didn’t. It just worked out that way,’ said Gary.
Lindsay said she is not leaving Cayman, but will never stay for another hurricane.