‘A miracle’: Woman saves husband’s life while alone on Northwest Florida island

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A woman is telling her husband’s miraculous story of survival in Northwest Florida.

It started as a beautiful day on the water for Rob and Tammy Brown on Oct. 16, but it quickly turned into a fight for Rob’s life.

“In those moments, he knew he was very close to dying,” Tammy said.

His leg was caught in their boat’s propeller.

“I said ‘Baby we got this, we got this, calm down, we got this,'” she said.

She’s a registered nurse, and he’s a clinical pharmacist. They just moved to the area in May from West Virginia. She put her nursing skills to the test using a rope to stop the bleeding.

“I had the leg just trying to hold the leg together and hold the tourniquet,” she said. “Talk to him. Try to keep him calm.”

She jumped back into the boat to get her phone. She knew she had to call 911 immediately but struggled to get the phone to unlock.

“My hands were bloody and wet, so my phone wouldn’t open,” she said. “I started praying to God to please open my phone.”

She was on the phone with 911 dispatchers pleading for help on Sand Island, close to NAS Pensacola.

“I really need help,” she told dispatchers. “Nobody was on the island that day but us.”

When the Coast Guard arrived, she told them to take him and come back later for her. That moment alone for her was emotional.

“I started walking the sand and praying to God to keep him…. and as I was walking on the sand… all I could see was Rob’s bloodline,” she said.

When she got to Baptist Hospital, she learned his time wasn’t up just yet.

“I said praise the Lord,” she said. “He’s alive. He is alive. It’s a miracle.”

Rob just finished his fifth surgery this week and came out of ICU. He will have a prosthetic leg. They’re thankful to all the first responders who helped that day. Tammy says it was all a miracle from God.

“When you think all is lost and you think there’s no hope or this is it — hold on…. hold on tight,” she said.

Tammy said that particular area on Sand Island is their spot. They go there frequently and she looks forward to the days they can return.

“We go out on that boat, and we go to this island,” she said. “We have our own spot, and we plan to do it again.”

A family friend is raising money through GoFundMe to help the Browns with their medical bills. So far, the community has given about $13,000.

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