Sisters recount Florida boating crash that almost paralyzed one

Two sisters who play softball for Florida International University commented that softball has always been an important part of their lives and has brought them closer together. The two are just 15 months apart in age and have been playing softball together since their early teens. But on Mother’s Day three years ago, the two girls were involved in a serious boating accident that almost prevented the sisters from ever being able to play ball again.

In May 2007, the girls were celebrating Mother’s Day with their family at Biscayne Bay. The family was leaving Miami’s Pelican Harbor Marina on a small boat when the crash occurred. Just as the family was entering Biscayne Bay, a speeding vessel struck their boat. One girl was knocked unconscious in the collision but was suddenly awakened by the screams of her sister. The boat’s propeller had cut a huge gash in her sister’s back.

“I thought my sister was going to die in my arms,” recounted the older sister. She said that she had feared that her younger sister had suffered a spinal cord injury and would never be able to play softball again. Her sister did have to get 33 stitches in her back and if the cut from the propeller had been any deeper, the girl would have been paralyzed from the accident.

Recovering from the accident has been a long and painful process for the two sisters who are now 21 and 20. The younger sister commented that it was months before she was able to walk again after the accident and she still feels back pain. However, she doesn’t want the pain to prevent her from doing something she loves.

The older sister suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament when she was knocked down in the crash and has had five surgeries to try to correct the injury. She commented that she probably shouldn’t be playing softball anymore, but like her sister, she can’t give up playing softball. Together, the two sisters continue to play ball and help each other through their everyday pain.

Source:The Miami Herald: “FIU’s softball sisters overcome adversity,” Justin Azpiazu, 26 Apr. 2011