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Women bond over similar experiences with serious boat propeller injuries

Two women now have an unbreakable bond. They are on a journey to healing together after both were struck by boat propellers.

Emily Champagne was injured two years ago, and we told you about Sue Brady’s story Tuesday. She is still in the hospital after getting hit last weekend.

Both women went through nearly the same tragedy, a boat propeller seriously injuring them and nearly taking their lives.

When, Emily, who was hurt two years ago this month, saw what happened to Sue just days ago, she said she wanted to be there for Sure in a way she wished someone could have been there for her.

A beautiful day on a boat became a day of struggling to stay alive, Champagne recalled.

“I was just screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to help me,” Champagne said.

Days later, life changed forever.

“You don’t go through something like that and not have afterthoughts,” Brady said.

“When I saw Sue’s story and saw that she has two girls, bore witness to it and actually saved their mother, I just remember being a mother and facing this new thing, this new set of limitations,” Champagne said.

After Champagne’s accident on Fort Myers Beach in 2018, she had to learn how to walk again.

“A doctor can tell you what bone is broken, what tendon is torn, but it’s the mental and physical feelings and adjustments I wish I had help with right from the beginning,” Champagne said.

So Emily decided to be that voice of support for trauma victims like Sue, who was injured near Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel.

“I just wanted to reach out to her to be like, ‘There’s another person that lived it,’” Champagne said. “My life is coming back together in a moment where she probably feels like it’s crashing in front of her.”

“It means a lot because right now I can’t walk,” Brady said. “I can’t do anything.”

Other survivors like Emily are doing what they can to be there for her.

“That I have people to talk to while I’m going through this,” Brady said.

Normally, Champagne says she volunteers at Lee Memorial Hospital as a trauma mentor and would be matched with someone like Sue. Because of COVID-19, all volunteers are home.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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