Florida woman uses nursing skills to save husband after boat propeller injury

National News

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – A woman is telling her husband’s miraculous story of survival in Northwest Florida.

What started as a beautiful day on the water for Rob and Tammy Brown quickly turned into a fight for Rob’s life, after Rob got his leg caught in their boat’s propeller.

“In those moments, he knew he was very close to dying,” said Tammy. A registered nurse, Tammy told WKRG she worked to keep her husband as calm as possible.

“I said ‘Baby we got this, we got this, calm down, we got this.'”

Tammy and Rob just moved to the Pensacola area in May from West Virginia. On Oct. 16, the two were enjoying a day at Sand Island when Rob, a clinical pharmacist, suffered his accident.

“Nobody was on the island that day but us,” she recalled.

Tammy quickly put her nursing skills to the test, using a rope to stop the bleeding.

“I had the leg, just trying to hold the leg together and hold the tourniquet,” she said.

Knowing she had to call 911 immediately, Tammy jumped back into the boat to get her phone.

“My hands were bloody and wet, so my phone wouldn’t open,” she said. “I started praying to God to please open my phone.”

Thankfully, she soon had 911 dispatchers on the line. When the Coast Guard arrived, she told them to take Rob and come back later for her. It was an emotional moment.

“I started walking the sand and praying to God to keep him … and as I was walking on the sand … all I could see was Rob’s bloodline,” she said.

Tammy eventually arrived at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, where Rob was being treated.

“I said, ‘Praise the Lord,'” she remembered. “‘He’s alive. He is alive. It’s a miracle.'”

Rob has since undergone five surgeries, coming out of the ICU this week. He’ll need a prosthetic leg. Tammy says, but the couple is thankful to all the first responders who helped. Tammy calls it a miracle from God that Rob survived.

“When you think all is lost, and you think there’s no hope, or this is it — hold on … hold on tight,” she said.

Tammy said that particular area on Sand Island is a favorite of theirs. She and Rob go there frequently, and she looks forward to the days they can return.

“We go out on that boat, and we go to this island,” she said. “We have our own spot, and we plan to do it again.”

A family friend is raising money through GoFundMe to help the Browns with their medical bills. So far, the community has given about $13,000.

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