“This is where they put a rod in, obviously the one back here is where the blade cut across my arm,” says April Wheeler, showing how much progress she’s made over the last nine months.

“Everyday I have to look at that and remember the choices you make and remember that day,” she says.

It was a sunny weekend in August of 2013 and Wheeler was riding in a boat with friends on Lake Hamilton when the operator pulled the throttle to make a sudden stop, throwing Wheeler overboard and into the path of the propeller .

“The propeller struck me four times, broke all my ribs on my left side except three, broke my collar bone, shoulder blade, crushed my lung, ruptured my spleen and completely ate through my hip and pelvis on my left side,” Wheeler describes.

Determined to recover quickly, Wheeler regained her ability to walk and stumbled onto a greater purpose.

“I just want to put out there we’ve got to start practicing better boating habits, in an instant one choice you make could change your life or change someone else’s life,” she says.

Arkansas saw 65 boating accidents last year and a total of 15 people were killed. Along with driver inattention, inexperience and rough waters, alcohol often a cause.

This article first appeaed on Boating Accident Survivor Pushes Boating Safety – Local News, Weather, Sports, and Community for Central Arkansas.