Local teacher shares story of survival after boating accident

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – You’d never know from her contagious smile and laugh that Leslie Burns just lost her leg.

Last week, Burns was pulled underneath a boat at Lake Mead just as the engine was starting.

“I get to be bionic,” Burns laughed. “I get to still do everything I can do and it’s not going to hold me back.”

Now, it’s the little things that brighten Burns’ day.

“Today, I was able to stand up and go in a walker which was amazing,” she said.

Burns is an English teacher at Foothill High School. In her hospital room at University Medical Center, the cards and balloons remind her how loved she really is.

“This incident is going to make me grateful for every little moment you have,” Burns added. “I kind of went into, my friends call it, teacher mode. I went into survivor mode.”

Burns was with her friends at Lake Mead on July 2. While she was in the water, her leg got caught in the propeller of their boat. She used a bathing suit belt to stop the bleeding. Then, a stranger gave her a tourniquet.

Three surgeries later, she is reflecting on what happened and hopes others will be more aware and prepared this summer.

“Appreciate every moment in life because I really didn’t think I was going to be here today and it was scary but i’m here,” said Burns.

Burns plans to go back to work in August for the first day of school.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Burns in her recovery. You can donate here.

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