Barbara Franz, one of nine people rescued from drowning Saturday by a hastily formed human chain near the M.B. Miller County Pier, is awake and recovering in the surgical intensive care unit.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — The woman who suffered a massive heart attack during a dramatic beach rescue over the weekend was awake Tuesday but faces a long road to recovery.
Barbara Franz was one of nine people rescued from drowning Saturday by a hastily formed human chain near the M.B. Miller County Pier. Franz, 67, is still in the surgical intensive care unit, according to her daughter, Roberta Ursrey, who also was pulled from the water Saturday after a rip current trapped them in 15 feet of water. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help cover some of Franz’s expenses.
“She is stable, but she will remain in the hospital for a while,” Ursrey said on the campaign’s website.
Jessica Simmons, who helped rescue Ursrey and her family, said Franz was unable to keep her head above water when she found her, and her eyes were rolling back. During the ordeal, Ursrey said her mother actually died for several minutes and remembered seeing her husband, who died in December, before being resuscitated in the ambulance.
“She remembers seeing her husband, and him telling her it wasn’t her time,” Ursrey told The News Herald on Monday.
In addition to a heart attack, Ursrey said her mother suffered from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and the fundraiser website says she also has pneumonia that doctors are working to clear up. Once she’s ready to be released, Ursrey wrote that her mother will require home health care and physical therapy.
Though still weak, and despite her ordeal, Ursrey said her mother isn’t afraid of getting back in the water.
“She’s ready to go back to the beach,” she said.
To help the family, go to www.gofundme.com/snag3-help-with-my-moms-medical-expenses.