Yoga instructor 'sliced' by propeller in freak accident: 'Lucky I'm alive'

'Everything seems to slow down as I feel the boat’s propeller hit my abdomen, genitals and legs... I looked down and see my insides out.'

WARNING - CONFRONTING CONTENT: A British yoga instructor was left fighting for life after being struck by a boat’s propeller while snorkelling during a dream holiday in Mexico.

Amor Armitage and her husband Chase Armitage were exploring a reef off Cozumel Island on December 17 when the 37-year-old decided to swim back to the boat.

"There was music playing in the boat and the captain was not looking in my direction,” the woman wrote on her website. “When I hold onto the ladder, I take out one fin, the captain of the boat doesn’t see me.”

It is then she realised that the boat had started moving.

Amor Armitage and her husband Chase (left) and Ms Armitage snorkelling.
Amor Armitage and her husband Chase had been on a dream holiday to Mexico at the time when they went snorkelling and scuba diving off Cozumel Island. Source: Amor Armitage

“I’m unable to say anything, words just didn’t come out as fear freezed me,” she said. “Everything seems to slow down as I feel the boat’s propeller hit my abdomen, genitals and legs.”

Watching as the boat motored away from her, she let out a “visceral scream” for help. Finally the captain spotted her.

“With cuts all over my body, I managed to swim to the ladder once again,” she said. “He tells me I have to go up the ladder. I looked down and see my insides out. I feel there's no chance I can pull myself up alone.

“God must have been holding me (through the surge of stress hormones) that helped me push myself up to the boat while my legs feel broken, my body feels mutilated and I feel a pain that is out of this world.”

Ms Armitage's injured leg (left) and bandaged body (right).
Ms Armitage's injuries were so severe that she needed three surgeries and 10 blood transfusions to survive. Source: Amor Armitage.

‘Fortunate to be alive’

With deep cuts to her abdominal area, the yoga instructor said it was a miracle the propeller didn’t reach any of her organs. She also said a blood clot in her femoral artery prevented her from losing too much blood.

“I receive a surgery to keep me alive that lasted over four hours [with] surgeons working on the uncountable cuts around the legs, where my quads, tendons and tibial bone were sliced, and part of my inner thigh completely scrambled,” Ms Armitage said.

By the end of December, the 37-year-old had undergone three surgeries and received 10 blood transfusions. “I am stable yet still considered high risk,” she wrote. “I experience pain daily and my left leg still doesn't move/respond fully. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and I feel fortunate that I’m alive.”

The 37-year-old's injured leg with stitches.
The 37-year-old yoga teacher says she feels fortunate to be alive after the accident which caused a 'pain that is out of this world'. Source: Chase Armitage

‘Nightmare situation’ as couple fights to get home

Without travel insurance, Ms Armitage's hospital costs are spiralling. A Just Giving page has since been set up to help the yoga instructor get back to the UK.

“We have been advised to try and get her an air ambulance,” her husband, Chase, wrote on the webpage. “This really is a nightmare situation for us. The feeling of her not being in the best care in the world puts knots in my heart and stomach.” So far more than $178,000 has been raised.

Amor and Chase Armitage on her hospital bed.
Chase Armitage is hoping to get his wife home to the UK as soon as possible. Source: Amor Armitage

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