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Heidi Ernst Shark Attack

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Hi, my name is Kim Barnes. Heidi's friends and I are starting this GoFundMe to help Heidi with expenses to support her recovery from a shark attack. Heidi is an avid scuba diver having just completed her 500th dive in May of this year. On June 7, 2023, Heidi was scuba diving in the Bahamas south of Taino Beach when she was attacked by a shark while on the ladder of a 32 ft. vessel. Heidi was expertly and miraculously given First Aid by Fred Riger on the vessel, who kept her from bleeding to death. Heidi was then stabilized and treated at the local hospital in Freeport, the Rand Memorial Hospital, and later taken by air ambulance to Jackson Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, FL. Unfortunately, the extent of the wound and the infection made an amputation of Heidi's left leg necessary. Heidi has had several surgeries and will require more in the near future. Heidi is a dog mom to her favorite little guy, Billy (a miniature schnauzer), horse mom to Sunny, a Physical Therapist, a power lifter, and has taught many exercise classes at the local YMCA. Heidi is fearless, kind, gentle, giving, honest, loves everything nature, has an amazing green thumb, an avid underwater photographer and a wonderful friend. We are raising funds to help pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, travel expenses to get her back home, travel expenses to get her to and from therapy appointments when she's back home and any modifications to her home to assist her physically. Heidi is a proud, independent woman that does not like to ask for help but her friends want to help her and this is a way. Please consider giving--any amount is helpful. Thank you so much. 

Update from Heidi: So here is an update as some of you have asked. I had my final surgery on Thursday and the surgeon who worked on me is specialized. She did a procedure called TMR. It is interesting and if you want deatails, just google it. In very short, she reconnected the nerves to muscles which promotes a good outcome with less pain and things like neuromas. And then she closed it up. Post surgery is very painful and they had difficulty controlling my pain for almost 2 days. Today (Sunday) is much better and I am on oral meds only No more IVs and monitors. So that means we will see how I do on this regimen. So far so good. Then PT tomorrow, as I had a major setback with low hemoglobin. That required another blood transfusion. 6 or 7 so far. What a difference that made in how I felt. So I think I will be discharged either tomorrow or Tuesday. And then the journey back to Iowa begins


    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Kimberly Rawlins
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
    • $20 
    • 11 mos
  • Rick Bearden
    • $100 
    • 11 mos

Organizer and beneficiary

Kimberley Barnes
Marshalltown, IA
Heidi Ernst

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