WEEKI WACHEE - A Weeki Wachee mermaid injured last week when she fell out of a pontoon boat and landed on the boat's propeller is out of intensive care and was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair her injured leg.
Samantha Maywell, of Brooksville, was injured in the left leg by the propeller. Two other mermaids who with her were not injured, according to John Athanason, public relations manager for the park.
"Samantha is doing better," Athanason said. "She is going through a surgery to flush out and clean out her leg, and hopefully reattach some tendons that were detached from the accident."
Kevin Carroll, assistant fire chief with Hernando County Fire Rescue, said last week Maywell suffered severe damage to her left leg, and was transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
Athanason said doctors were able to save Maywell's leg, but that there is still much work to be done.
"People always ask what lessons can you learn from a tragedy," Athanason said.
"There were some people out there after the accident who knew exactly what to do, and it was pretty much a matter of life and death.
"If those people didn't know how to do a tourniquet and treat her, it could be a completely different story right now."
Athanason said he saw Maywell over the weekend, and that she looked OK but was in obvious discomfort.
Athanason also said Maywell was appreciative of the outpouring of support she has received since the accident.
"Texas Roadhouse is doing a fundraiser for her on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 3-10 p.m.," Athanason said.
"If you say you're here to support mermaid Samantha, they'll donate 10 percent of your bill to her fundraiser cause, and we'll be out there with mermaids posing on their own time."
Athanason also said other local restaurants have pledged their support for Maywell, and that Maywell's family and co-workers are going to be at Texas Roadhouse on Thursday.
"All of us are going to be there to have a nice meal, and do whatever we can to support her," Athanason added.