DESTIN — Nearly a month after a Destin woman was critically injured in a freak boating accident, her family is searching for the kind strangers who helped them through some of the worst moments of their lives.
Lee Ann Dorn, who is 55, was jumping off a friend's boat May 25 when she was sliced open by a propeller. Friends on the boat say the motor was off and the propeller wasn't spinning.
After rescuing her from the water, they drove the boat onto the nearest beach just east of the East Jetty.
There, they were met by three doctors and a nurse who happened to be on the beach and provided emergency care, as well as a lifeguard from Destin Beach Safety. Lee Ann was taken to a nearby street where a medical helicopter was landing.
And that is where Lee Ann's husband, Phillip Dorn, acquired a pair of women's sparkly gold flip-flops.
"We were running down the street barefoot, trying to figure out which hospital they were taking my mom to," said her daughter, Chelsey Dorn. "These wonderful people were like, 'What can we do? What can we do?'
"I said, 'Does anyone have shoes to fit this man?'" Chelsey remembers asking. "This woman ran to her bag and got these gold sparkly shoes. He wore those to the hospital."
Dorn is the athletic director at Fort Walton Beach High School, as well as the head football coach.
Now, the family would like to thank the woman who gave up her shoes to a frantic stranger. They would also like to talk to the folks who formed a prayer circle on the beach that day.
"Please let everyone know she's doing better every day," her daughter said. "We are so grateful for all the prayers, the amazing people at the hospital and everyone that helped that day.
"We are just very, very grateful."
Lee Ann is recovering at their Destin home, her daughter said.
To follow her progress, go to caringbridge.org and put Lee Ann Dorn in the search tool. You will have to register to follow Chelsey's posts about her mom.