News

Physician opens up on how he tried to save UF Health CEO’s life after jet ski crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The doctor that assisted UF Health CEO Dr. Leon Haley after he crashed a jet ski into a jetty has spoken out about how he helped that day, and what he’s feeling now.

Dr. Joseph Cody says it was a group of fishermen who first saw Dr. Haley crash. After that, they started waving boats down for help.

“So, I jumped off my boat, I swim in, and I was able to talk to the fisherman,” Cody says.

They tried to help the man onto the rocks- when that failed, they waited for the coast guard.

“Thankfully, the Coast Guard arrived in pretty quick time. The Coast Guard threw us a rope and then we wrap the rope around him.”

Cody joined the coast guard while they brought the man to a dock, administering CPR the whole time.

“I remember saying to the EMS, I said, he’s a young guy. Give it your all.”

It was hours before Cody found out the man he had helped, had died. That’s when he learned the man was Dr. Leon Haley, a fellow doctor and CEO of UF health.

“It hit me hard when I learned that he didn’t survive his injuries.”

The doctor says even though he didn’t know Haley personally, he knows Haley would have done the same.

“I think he would’ve done the same for somebody else too. For me if he saw me.”

He says Dr. Haley’s death has been hard, but he knows he did everything possible to save him.

“Everybody involved gave Dr. Haley the best possible chance to survive what happened.”