A woman whose feet were amputated in a boating accident in Chicago’s “Playpen” area said she knew she was “dying” and would have drowned had her husband not pulled her up.
Lana Batochir, a 34-year-old mother of two young children, went out on a friend’s boat with her husband on 13 August when tragedy struck.
Ms Batochir was with another woman on a floatie raft when a nearby rental boat malfunctioned while trying to set anchor, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said.
According to officials, the rental boat began to drift after the windlass stopped working properly. Then the boat’s captain, a 70-year-old man, tried to fix it by reversing the boat but instead sucked the floating raft.
The two women were sucked into the boat’s prop wash and sustained severe injuries.
“Everything happened so fast. We were all under his boat within seconds,” Ms Batochir wrote on her GoFundMe page, where she is seeking to raise $250,000 for her medical expenses.
She said the boat’s propeller struck her, leaving her with unimaginable pain.
“I thought I was dying. I fought for my life for seconds which felt like minutes. I began to drown, I couldn’t swim,” she said.
That boat’s propellor severed both her feet as she tried to pull her head above water to stay afloat, before her husband rescued her.
“I felt myself drifting down like an object, I knew I would die,” she added.
“As I was getting pulled onto the boat I glanced at my legs and realised that both my legs were gone.”
Following the incident, she was rushed to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital where doctors performed an “initial damage control surgery right away”.
“It still feels like a nightmare.”
She added that post her recovery, she would be in rehab for the next few months “along with the help of medical professionals and physical therapist”.
Ms Batochir claims she has no health insurance, which is why she has resorted to crowdfunding to cover her medical expenses. She has so far raised nearly $52,000 in donations.
“This tragedy is not going to break me!” she wrote in her GoFundMe page.