Monday, September 5, 2011

She's 90 and she's on the mend...

I always tell her not to do that, but that’s like telling a bird not to sing,” said a relative of Margaret Webb (1st image, inset), describing how she enjoyed picking mangoes from a tree near the water's edge of her Copeland, Florida, yard. She may have been doing just that on Wednesday when an 8' alligator lunged out out of the canal and grabbed her by the ankle. Her friend Dwain Daniels III (2nd image, inset) happened to be driving by as Margaret was being dragged into the water. Without missing a beat, he grabbed his .22 rifle, ran to the scene, and shot the animal in the eye. He summoned Margaret's son, they called 911, and together they pulled her from the canal - minus her lower leg. Police and paramedics responded, and Margaret was flown to nearby Lee Memorial Hospital (slideshow here). Daniels' quick thinking probably saved Margaret's life, but he was shaken by the event and deflected any congratulations. “She’s the sweetest, strong-willed Christian woman there is. She’s as nice as the day is long. Everglades is like family, and it’s nothing I did that anybody else wouldn’t have done.” Wranglers were unable to locate the alligator, but expected it to rise to the surface of the canal within a few days if it was fatally shot. Meanwhile, surgeons had to amputate Margaret's left leg below the knee. She also had bite wounds on her right leg and a broken arm and toe. She was placed in an induced coma to help avoid infection, but her condition has since been upgraded from critical to serious. “She’s a resilient lady....You don’t get to be 90 and not be.”

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