Teenager loses foot in lake accident

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A 13-year-old Priceville girl has lost one of her feet as the result of a freak boating accident on Smith Lake over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Danielle Johnson's foot was amputated at Children's Hospital in Birmingham on May 31, 77 hours after it was severed at the ankle by a nylon rope, which was being used to pull a float behind a personal watercraft.
The foot was reattached by an orthopedic surgeon in an effort to save it, according to Yvette Stackhouse, Danielle's mother.
"We had hope for a good outcome," Stackhouse said. "They were able to reconnect the artery and two veins, which carry blood to and from the foot. The artery was working but the veins were not and it turned out there was no other choice but to amputate and save the leg."
Her mother added, "We have since talked with a representative of Biotech Prosthetics and plans are in the making to fit her with a prosthetic foot before school starts in August. She was told she'll be able to resume a normal lifestyle, even participate in sports such as water skiing and volleyball.
"Her Christian faith has been her strength through this. She has a positive outlook. I don't think we would have made it had it not been for the prayers of family and friends."
Danielle was pulling a friend on a float when they stopped, pulled the float onboard and proceeded to move to a different location on the lake. A gust of wind blew the float into the water just after the Jet Ski moved forward. The force of the two objects moving in opposite directions uncoiled the rope until it caught on Danielle's foot. Both girls were thrown out of the Jet Ski but they were wearing life jackets.
Danielle received emergency first aid on the scene and was later evacuated by helicopter to Children's Hospital.
"If we can do something to prevent an accident like this from happening to others, that's what God wants us to do," Stackhouse stated.

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