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Give for Texans – Lindsay’s Story

Lindsay Bruns and family

R&R leads to ER for shark attack survivor

A summer vacation took a terrifying turn for a North Texas family.

“It was a holiday to remember for all the wrong reasons,” said Lindsay Bruns.

The Flower Mound-to-Florida Keys trip was an annual tradition for Lindsay, husband Luke, and their young daughters Piper and Rylan.

During their June 2022 getaway, the family piloted a boat to a familiar, scenic spot for a day of sun, swimming and snorkeling.

Before heading back, Lindsay took one last cannonball plunge into the crystal blue sea.

Splashing into 10 feet of water, Lindsay said she felt something hard and initially thought she’d struck the side of the boat. However, she realized she could not feel her legs, as the water around her began turning bright red.

Luke – onboard with Piper and Rylan – dove in and pulled Lindsay to safety.

Along Lindsay’s right thigh, from her knee to her hip, were several deep punctures and a gaping 36-inch wound exposing her femur. The reality of the situation was chilling: Lindsay had been bitten by a large shark and needed medical help as soon as possible.

Luke cut the rope off the boat’s anchor and used it as a tourniquet to slow Lindsay’s massive bleeding. The family immediately began the 25-minute journey to shore, calling 911 on the way. Dockside, first responders tied a fresh tourniquet around Lindsay’s wound and airlifted her to a Miami hospital.

During the emergency flight, Lindsay was given a blood transfusion. The in-flight procedure, coupled with Luke’s improvised tourniquet, likely helped save Lindsay’s life, officials said later.

Over the following nine days, Lindsay received at least 11 blood transfusions and underwent three reconstructive surgeries to save her leg.

She was released from the hospital that July and the family returned to Texas. Lindsay had weekly physical therapy sessions during her recovery and noted, “My wound has healed, but I still have a scar and haven’t regained all the sensation in my leg.”

Since then, Lindsay has become a regular donor at Carter BloodCare’s center in Flower Mound, helping others just as others helped her.

“We are so grateful for all the wonderful people God has put in our lives throughout this experience. People from all over the world have been praying for us and sending words of encouragement our way,” she said. “Our community was quick to respond and help with any need that may arise.”

Lindsay added, “I have deemed this the year of rest, so we have tried to take it slow and prioritize family time.”

Her harrowing experience was a reminder of the power of resilience and learning to live in and enjoy the present, Lindsay said. “I’ve taken from it the lesson that life can change in a heartbeat.”

You can make a lifesaving difference by donating at a Carter BloodCare donor center or mobile blood drive near you. Help patients in need by calling 800-366-2834 today.

Your experience as a Carter BloodCare donor or recipient can save lives by motivating others to donate. Please share your experience and Tell Us Your Story.