Chicago: Mom loses both feet after ‘reckless’ boat ran over her raft

Lana Batochir (left) lost both feet in a boating accident on Lake Michigan in mid-August

Lana Batochir (left) lost both feet in a boating accident on Lake Michigan in mid-August (Image: GoFundMe)

A mother lost both feet after a boat reportedly hit her raft on Lake Michigan.

Police were responding to a report that “two boats with people trapped underneath collided,” Chicago Police Department marine unit officer Ark Pachnik said Monday.

One victim “was hanging halfway in the boat” and first responders found “both feet were severed,” Pachnik said.

One woman, Lana Batochir, 34, identified herself as a victim on a GoFundMe page launched earlier this week. She is a wife and mother of two children. The Chicago woman said August 13 changed her life forever.

Boats move through the no-wake area

Boats move through the “Playpen” no-wake area in Lake Michigan (Image: Zuma Press)

“My husband and I rode our friend’s boat and took it to Chicago Playpen. Attached to our boat was an eight-person floating raft, we all hung out on it until tragedy struck,” Batochir wrote.

“A reckless boater backed into our dinghy at full throttle, destroying everything in his path.”

Batochir recalled that “everything happened so quickly” and that everyone on the raft was under the other boat within seconds.

“The boat’s propeller hit me and left me with unimaginable pain. I thought I was dying,” she wrote. “I fought for my life for seconds that felt like minutes. I started drowning, I couldn’t swim.”

Batochir said as soon as her head was above water, she saw her husband desperately searching for her.

“We were blindfolded but I couldn’t stay up, I was really starting to drown. I felt myself drifting down like an object, I knew I was going to die,” she said.

Batochir credits her husband with rescuing her from the water and saving her life.

“As I was being pulled onto the boat, I looked down at my legs and found that both legs were gone,” she wrote.

She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. On Monday, she said she was due to have both legs amputated below the knees and would need targeted muscle reinnervation surgery.

“Even though it feels like the worst thing that has happened to me, I still feel very fortunate to be alive,” she wrote. “I am grateful to be able to hug and kiss my children, my husband, my family and my friends. I will get through this and come out stronger with my new lifestyle.’

The GoFundMe page had raised more than $120,000 as of Thursday night.

A second victim was injured in the terrible boat accident. The victim’s hand was “severely severed,” according to Officer Raul Echevarria.

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Justin Scacco

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