A British woman attacked by a crocodile felt as though her arm had been ripped off and she was about to drown, her twin sister who saved her has revealed.
Melissa Laurie was thrashed about and dragged underwater in the attack in Mexico, and her sister, Georgia, was also injured.
Now Georgia has described for the first time what Melissa remembers of those near-fatal moments, and how she leapt to the rescue, beating the animal off with her bare hands.
In hospital in Puerto Escondido, Melissa was placed in a medically induced coma to allow her body to recover from the bite wounds she suffered to her legs and abdomen.
While in a coma, she developed sepsis from the infected wounds. She was woken last week, and according to Georgia, is recovering well and able to talk and walk a little.
The twins, 28, from Berkshire, were on a tour of the Manialtepec Lagoon in Oaxaca when the attack happened 10 days ago.
Georgia told ITV News that Melissa had been the first one to notice the reptile in the lagoon, and alerted the group to the danger, but did not manage to escape herself.
She said that when her sister did not respond to her calls, she returned to the water and saw her sister’s body “floating towards her”.
“I jumped into action with my rescue training that I remember and dragged her body towards me and laid her on my chest and tried to revive her and she started going into a fit.
“And the crocodile came back twice – so I beat it off, but the third time is when I sustained the most injuries,” she said.
Georgia, seen with a bandaged hand, also revealed what her sister remembers about the attack. “She said she remembers the first crocodile attack – she remembers it dragging her underwater.
“She remembers feeling like she was going to drown, and also she said she felt like her arm was ripped off.”
After the third attack, the twins were pulled onto a boat, as Melissa was fading in and out of consciousness.
Georgia said the only other thing Melissa remembered about the ordeal was Georgia singing to her on the boat, which she did to comfort her in her distress.
On the way to hospital, Melissa was coughing up blood and bile, with “really scary” injuries. Georgia said her twin had puncture marks all over her legs and abdomen, cuts to her stomach, a fractured wrist and water in her lungs.
The hospital doctors put Melissa into a medically induced coma.
“They found a lot of debris, a lot of mud and grass in her body from the water she took in and also from the puncture wounds from the crocodile,” she said.
But Melissa has been recovering well since being woken from the coma, and has begun to talk and walk again, Georgia added.
It was only once they were at hospital that she noticed the extent of her own injuries. She was treated for lacerations to her hand and wrist from being bitten as she fought off the crocodile.
Last week, the twins’ older sister, Hana Laurie, told BBC Breakfast that the women had asked their guide whether it was safe to swim in the lagoon, and had been told that it was.
“They asked if the water was safe and were told it was, and evidently that’s not the case.
“They’re not naive people. Georgia and Melissa are experienced with animals. Georgia’s a great diver, which is how we think she’s managed to save her life.”
It was later discovered that the tour guide was unlicensed. After the attack, he fled and was later arrested by the Guardia Civil. Signs have since gone up warning others not to swim in the lagoon.
Hana also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the twins’ medical costs, which has raised nearly £44,000.
In an update posted on Monday evening, Hana said: “It turns out Melissa is a little bit like Terminator or Wolverine or something, and has unbelievable strength and healing skills.
“She’s managed to stand and do a short walk in the hospital and we’re confident she won’t need physio on the leg that was bitten.”
She added that the sepsis is no longer an issue, and that Melissa had a big smile on her face, and that their parents, Sean and Sue Laurie, were on their way to Mexico.
Hana and Georgia thanked the hospital staff for their hard work.
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