22-year-old woman who loved to dance loses both legs in a tour boat explosion while holidaying with family
Both the young woman and her mother suffered severely in the explosion, even her mother lost her leg in the boat explosion in the Bahamas.
A young American woman lost both her legs while in the Bahamas due to a boat explosion that ended up killing at least one American woman, and injuring a few others. 22-year-old Stefanie Schaffer from Vermont has been put in a medically-induced coma after the tour boat she was on went up in flames suddenly off the island of Exuma just after 9 a.m. on June 30. The young woman had been among the group of 12 people who were on board the boat at the time of the accident. There were a total of 10 Americans and 2 Bahamians.
Schaffer had been on vacation when the tragedy occurred. She was with her mother Stacey, sister Brooke, and her stepfather Paul Bender. A family member told the Daily Mail that both the 22-year-old and her mother are still in the hospital in Nassau. According to reports from the hospital, she is still in a very unstable condition and that is why she has still not been flown back to the United States.
The family member told the Daily Mail in an interview: "She's in really critical care right now and in really serious shape. I know she has really bad internal injuries." The person also said that Schaffer's mother's leg had been smashed to smithereens in the massive boat explosion. She is also said to have suffered from many broken bones as well as internal injuries. The sister Brooke and the stepfather Paul only suffered from minor injuries like scratches and bruises.
The family member who updated everyone about the terrible situation in the Bahamas said that the young woman is a "very outgoing" dancer. They said: "The scary thing is Stefanie doesn't know that she's lost her legs, and that's what really upsets me. She's going to wake up from this coma and realize "I don't have any legs". It's breaking my heart."
The family started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for the medical expenses involved in the mother and daughter's medical treatments. They said that the family is hoping Schaffer will be in a stable condition soon so that she can be flown back to Florida to get more medical treatment.
The US Coast Guard helped airlift four of the injured Americans on board immediately after the explosion to a hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. It has still not been revealed if the American woman who lost her life died from the explosion on the boat or if she succumbed to her injuries at a later time in the hospital. Her name has still not been released.
The massive explosion spewed out flames and giant clouds of thick black smoke into the air above. One Instagram user, Chris Topperwein, shared images from the horrifying scene of the explosion and of people on other boats nearby rushing to the rescue of the people on board the vessel. A few people from a nearby boat can be seen jumping into the water and rushing to the boat before they are seen pulling the last remaining people to safety.
Chester Cooper, the Exumas and Ragged Island MP confirmed suspicions that a woman had died on board the vessel and that two other Americans were in "extremely critical conditions" at a hospital in Nassau. It has since been confirmed that the two Americans in the critical conditions are Schaffer and her mother.
Cooper said in a statement: 'This is a sad day for Exuma and a sad day for our American friends. We are saddened and our hearts our hurting, but we will get through this together. Your prayers, as always, are needed and appreciated."
The Exuma branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force is currently investigating the cause of the explosion and is yet to release information on what transpired.