Gabby DeSouza on the road to recovery

She continues to fight in the hospital

She's only 14 years old, but Gabby DeSouza has endured more in her life than most.

The Palm Beach Gardens teenager survived a horrible boating accident, and is now on the road to recovery.

DeSouza has undergone several surgeries, and even had part of her leg amputated after getting it caught in a boat propeller last month.

As she continues to fight in the hospital, those close to her are drumming up support to help her heal.

She's the all-American teenage girl; wearing a zebra snuggie, checking her manicure, and texting her best friend Juan from her hospital bed.

DeSouza recalls the moment she suffered a major loss.

"I just remember coming out to the boat and my friends dragging me out to the sand," said DeSouza.

As the teen began to climb onto the boat, she says a wave came and knocked her back into the water. Before she knew it, she was surrounded by EMT'S and was being flown to the hospital.

"I remember like, them carrying me in this like baggy thingy," says DeSouza, "Then being lifted up on the stairs and I was crying because I thought they were going to drop me and and they put me in trauma hawk. I was in shock so I didn't feel pain, so I guess that was good."

The 'pain' she didn't feel was her right leg being shredded by the boat's propeller.

"It's hard look to at my leg, not looking at the nub, but looking at the skin graft," said DeSouza.

Gabby's mother spends her days at the bedside of her daughter. In her spare time, she has been hosting several fundraisers to pay for the medical bills which have started piling up. Unfortunately, Gabby's insurance will not cover her medical care.

Family members say they can only imagine how high the bills are since she was first admitted to the hospital.

"On the third day of her being in the hospital, her mother met with the financial counselor and it was well over $300,000 on the third day," says her uncle, John Whalen.

Now it's been over a month and the family has turned to the community for help.

Gabby says she is doing better than before and is ready to go back to her teenage life.

"I wanna go shopping," said DeSouza, "I can't wait to go to the mall, I can't wait to get out of here."

The video of Gabby in the hospital was shot by our news partners at the Palm Beach Post.

Print this article Back to Top