Ark. teen shares story of boating accident in hopes she can save lives

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- July 29 of last year was supposed to be normal day on the lake for Jodi Brashers, until a boater changed her life forever.

Brashers said she was swimming just a few feet from her friend's boat when she saw another boat headed straight towards her at about 50 miles per hour. She said the boat had no signs of stopping.

“When we saw it, we were yelling and waving," she recalled. "I was swimming towards our boat, and when I realized I couldn't make it to our boat, I went under water. I ran out of breath and my life jacket pulled me back up, and when I came out of the water, the boat hit me."

Her whole body was sliced open, and she thought she was going to die.

“When we got to the boat landing, I kept saying I'm dying get help."

Her heart stopped once on scene.

“They gave me CPR, and I came back alive. When I died I saw God and my dad. That's how I tell people God was with me, because my dad was standing there above me,” Brashers said.

Next thing she knew she was in Little Rock, then she blacked out again and woke up two weeks later in the hospital. She was fighting for her life, surgery after surgery. She was there for three months and one day until she was finally allowed to go home.

She was starting to cheer up, until life knocked her down yet again: the doctors told her that she would never be able to walk again. But, she said she was determined to prove them wrong.

She can now walk with the help of a walker or family member and hopes soon she won't need any help at all. It's been a yearlong battle in and out of the hospital. She’s undergone 35 surgeries and still has many more.

Brashers said she was saved for a purpose and that purpose is to share her story and spread awareness for boating safety.

“Accidents do happen whether it's in a car or in a boat,” she said.

Her first awareness post now has over 25,000 shares and more than 10,000 likes. She hopes her post not only brings awareness, but helps people going through hard times, hoping to show them they're not alone.

“Some days I look at my legs and think, Wow I'm covered in scars. But, I look at my scars like they're battle wounds. I won a war against a boat,” she said.

Brashers said what has helped her the most is telling herself she can do anything, but she just has to do it a little bit differently.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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