A Manitoba woman who almost lost her leg in a boating accident while vacationing in South Africa has returned home, where she will continue a long road to recovery.
What was supposed to be a relaxing Christmas trip for Emelia Grobler of Headingley, Man., landed her in intensive care in a hospital far from home.
"I think it's a miracle that I'm alive and I'm happy to be here," she told CBC News shortly after landing at the Winnipeg airport on Wednesday night.
The 26-year-old and her family were touring the holiday village of St. Francis Bay on a relative's boat on Dec. 21 when it collided with another boat and she went overboard.
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Her leg was nearly severed by a propeller. She was rushed to a hospital in Port Elizabeth, where she spent part of her recovery in an intensive care unit.
"The doctors have told me that the propeller sliced my leg in three areas and it missed — three times — major arteries, which is amazing," she recalled.
Grobler said she was told she could lose her leg and a toe. However, she has been able to keep both.
"I think I've grown a whole lot stronger," she said. "I'm a different person than I was when I left."
Grobler, who arrived in Winnipeg in a wheelchair, and members of her family say they are happy she's home, where she can relax and heal.
"The battle is no where near done, though," said Corli Grobler, her sister.
"This is where she comes home and she has … two other surgeries lined up: a nerve surgery and also a bone surgery."
Emelia Grobler said she has already spoken with a surgeon in the United States about connecting her severed nerves.
She's thanking everyone, including her family and friends, for supporting her during her ordeal in South Africa.
"It helps tremendously," she said. "It just feels like it really makes life worth living. you know?"