In a tragic incident that occurred over the weekend, a Chicago woman suffered an accident where a propeller severed both of her feet. The woman says she thought she was “going to die” on Lake Michigan.
According to reports, her raft became pulled into the wake of a passing vessel. She, along with passengers, got sucked under a passing boat.
Lana Batochir, 34, a married mom of two, spent Saturday on the water in the so-called “Playpen” area of the lake. She spent the day with her friends, and unfortunately, the day would end poorly.
Batochir and her companions were floating on a raft in the “Playpen” area. A nearby rental boat set anchor but then malfunctioned and began drifting, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
Then, the boat’s captain reversed the course, and it sucked the floatie under the boat. The boat carried Batochir and her friends onboard under the other vessel. The woman’s husband was on another boat and dragging the raft behind, according to CBS News.
Batochir launched a GoFundMe campaign after the incident. In the description of the campaign, she described the horrifying scene.
“Everything happened so fast. We were all under his boat within seconds,” she wrote. She said she felt “unimaginable pain” when the boat’s propeller made contact with her.
She recalled the brutal moment, saying: “I thought I was dying. I fought for my life for seconds which felt like minutes. I began to drown, I couldn’t swim.”
Survivor of Rafting Accident Recalls Tragic Scene
Batochir managed to keep her head above water, and from a distance, she saw her husband’s panic-stricken eyes searching for her.
“I would never forget his face of pain,” the woman wrote. “We connected eyes, but I couldn’t stay up, I truly began to drown. I felt myself drifting down like an object, I knew I would die.”
Batochir said her husband saved her life when he rushed to her side and pulled her out of the water.
“As I was getting pulled onto the boat I glanced at my legs and realized that both my legs were gone,” she recalled.
Chicago police marine officers who responded also rescued Batochir’s 28-year-old friend. Her friend sustained gruesome injuries, as well. She had part of her hands severed by the propeller.
Batochir explained that she was scheduled to receive a below-the-knee amputation on both legs. She also requires nerve surgery. This will be followed by a lengthy rehabilitation period. During this time, she will learn how to walk on prosthetic legs.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love to dance, love music, and enjoying life itself with family,” the mom of two children wrote. “My life has completely changed because of one unfortunate tragedy.”
But she did close on an optimistic note. She writes, “even though it feels like the worst thing that happened to me, I still feel very lucky to be alive.”
Batochir shared that she is “one of the many people who don’t have health insurance in this country,” and so she is seeking $250,000 to help cover her medical bills at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $74,000 had already been raised.