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Chicago Mom Loses Both of Her Feet After Boating Accident at Lake Michigan 'Playpen'

·3-min read
Woman Loses Feet in Boating Accident
Woman Loses Feet in Boating Accident

gofundme

A Chicago woman lost both of her feet and will have part of her legs amputated after a boating accident earlier this month.

Police were first alerted to an emergency that "two boats collided with people trapped underneath," Officer Ark Pachnik of the Chicago Police Department's Marine Unit said in a press conference on Monday.

After first responders arrived, they saw one victim "hanging halfway into the boat." It was clear she needed medical help, so she was taken to paramedics who were waiting nearby.

Officers also saw a second victim on the stern of a boat. After putting that individual on their shoulders, police took them to the paramedics as well.

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Pachnik said "both feet were severed" as he confirmed the first victim's injuries.

Officer Raul Echevarria, who responded to the scene, added that there was "excessive bleeding" on the boat and that the second victim's hand was "severely severed." He said his priority was to minimize the bleeding as much as possible.

Sharing what witnesses said happened, Pachnik explained that six to eight people were on a raft when a second boat "reversed into them, sucking them right underneath their boat."

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Pachnik said police have currently determined it was an accident, pending an investigation.

The Chicago Police Department tells PEOPLE the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard are continuing the investigation.

The first victim has since been identified as Lana Batochir, 34, based on a GoFundMe she started to raise money for her medical costs. It has raised more than $106,000 of her $250,000 goal as of Wednesday evening.

"I never imagined myself that I would be here laying in a hospital bed and typing this message," she wrote before recounting her experience.

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"A Reckless boat driver reversed into our inflatable raft at full throttle destroying everything in its way," the mother of two said. "Everything happened so fast. We were all under his boat within seconds. The boat's propeller struck me, leaving me with unimaginable pain. I thought I was dying."

She said she immediately began to drown.

"At a distance I saw my husband's eyes searching for me in a panic. I would never forget his face of pain. 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," she wrote.

She credits her husband for saving her life, stating that he pulled her out of the water. That's when she realized her feet were gone.

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Once at the hospital, she was told both of her legs would have to be amputated below the knee.

"Even though it feels like the worst thing that happened to me, I still feel very lucky to be alive. I thought i would die. Im grateful I will be able to hug and kiss my kids, my husband, my family, and my friends," she said. "I will get through this and come out stronger with my new lifestyle."

After investigating, the DNR will decide if the other driver will face charges, per CBS News.

The DNR did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.