Arthur Medici had plans to propose to his girlfriend before his life was tragically cut short in a deadly shark attack over the weekend.
The 26-year-old, of Revere, Massachusetts, recently had rings custom-made in his native Brazil for his girlfriend, Emily Rocha, his friend (and Emily’s sister), Isaac Rocha, told The Boston Globe. He planned to propose on a beach, according to Isaac.
“He meant a lot for everyone. Everyone he came in touch with he was loved [by], and loved,” Isaac said, adding that Medici “always fought for things he loved and who he loved.”
Medici died on Saturday afternoon after he was attacked by a shark while boogie boarding at Cape Cod. Isaac told WCVB that he was just a few yards away from his friend when he heard Medici’s screams and rushed to save him.
“I saw him go down and then I saw him go back up and saw a lot of blood and he was screaming,” Isaac told the station. “I dragged him out of the water about 35 yards. I got him to the beach and, I was exhausted I couldn’t pull him back anymore. After that, I got the boogie board strap, his boogie board strap, and tried to tie it around his leg to stop the bleeding.”
Witnesses said Medici suffered severe bites to his legs. Medici was given CPR and taken to Cape Cod Hospital where he died, according to a statement on the Wellfleet Police Department’s Facebook page. The attack occurred near Newcomb Hollow Beach.
Isaac said that the death has been especially hard on his sister, Emily. Medici’s Facebook page indicates that they had been in a relationship since December 2016.
“They were thinking about marriage and all that. It’s horrible,” he told WCVB. “We love him so much, he meant the word to us. He still means the world to us.”
Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to cover transportation and funeral costs. On the page, Medici’s family described his girlfriend as a “smart, kind-hearted medical student with a bright future.”
“He loved hiking, biking, surfing and various other sports. There was never a bad time for him. He was always joyful and willing to help others, even going as far as feeding the homeless,” the page reads. “Our lives are are never going to be the same without him. His laughter filled our home and he will be greatly missed by us all.”
Medici was an engineering student at Bunker Hill Community College. He had moved to live with his aunt and uncle in Revere about four years ago, according to the Globe — his parents live in Brazil.
Medici’s father, Itamar Medici, mourned his son’s death in a Sunday Facebook post filled with old photos of the man.
“Son…. you left me! I don’t want to live. Now nothing has meaning to me, for this god has taken the reason of my life and my tears are drying,” he wrote. “I was fighting to give you everything and now…. for who is going to stay what was being saving for you. I have no more desire for life because nothing else makes sense… I love you for all eternity!”