‘Dad would be so proud’: Chapin woman who lost her leg in boat crash walks again

Updated: Dec. 19, 2019 at 11:20 PM EST
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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Chapin woman is taking her first steps once again nearly three months after a tragic boat crash not only claimed the life of her husband but also took her right leg.

The crash happened Saturday, September 21 near the Lighthouse Marina off Johnson Marina Road.

Tracy Gordon, 53, was charged with three counts of felony BUI after the boat he was driving hit a pontoon boat. Stanley Kiser died at the scene. His wife, Shawn Kiser, lost her leg and his daughter, Morgan Kiser suffered injuries as well.

On Thursday afternoon, Shawn Kiser walked out of her Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions appointment with a newly fit prosthetic leg. It was the first time she was able to walk since the crash.

“Trying to learn how to re-walk again is pretty hard,” Shawn said. “It’s been very hard. The accident was Sept. 21st and, yeah, who knew I’d be here?”

While the entire family is still mourning Stanley Kiser, never knowing they would lose him three months ago, they said it’s a small step in the right direction as they focus on their new normal.

“My dad’s gone. He died in front of me and then my mom’s leg is gone. She doesn’t have her husband anymore. That person that she built her life with, that she had her children with, she doesn’t have him and then she doesn’t even have her leg? So unfair,” Morgan Kiser said. “But now with this leg, it’s going to be great.”

Three months after a tragic boating accident, Shawn Kiser was fitted with a prosthetic leg and...
Three months after a tragic boating accident, Shawn Kiser was fitted with a prosthetic leg and began walking again.((Source: WIS))

Bobby Latham, a certified prosthetist at Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions helped Shawn through her delivery appointment and trained her to use her new prosthesis.

“We’re in the spot where we’re trying to help people get to do what they were doing before,” Latham said. “We’re going to keep training her. She is going to go to physical therapy. She’s going to get in-patient physical therapy and get like two or three sessions a day for about seven to 10 days, and then she is going to come back here for a follow-up.”

“All of us take walking for granted. I myself did the same thing. I just never thought this would be me,” Shawn said.

Shawn added she is ready to get back to doing what she and her husband loved to do together.

“Just to be able to walk and be independent and, hopefully, ride bikes,” Shawn said. “My husband and I used to ride bikes a lot, so ride bikes again and, you know, be able to do what I used to do and I’m trying to think ‘What did I do?’”

As the appointment went on and Shawn became more comfortable, she was able to walk without holding onto the parallel bars for support and the smile on her face just got bigger and bigger.

“It’s only been three months. It’s crazy. It feels like it’s been a lot longer. But she’s amazing. She’s so strong. She was so strong on the boat. She’s so strong now. She’s just the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life,” Morgan said. “My dad would be so proud.”

Despite all that she’s lost, Shawn carries a smile and the strength to keep going.

“My mom is such an inspiration,” Sloan Kiser said. “She always has been and now she’s just showing her real colors even more.”

Since the crash, the Kiser family has been pushing lake safety through its initiative called ‘Safe the Lake.’

The Safe the Lake Facebook group has more than 2,900 members joining in on the effort to spark conversation about boating and lake safety.

You can learn more about Safe the Lake by clicking here.

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