After preteen survives severe boating accident, mom warns families to stay safe at lakes

Twelve-year-old Cora Thomas spent a recent summer afternoon like so many other Michiganders in her neighborhood: swimming in Fenton’s Lake Ponemah.

She was floating on an inflatable raft talking to her friend when, suddenly, she realized a ski boat was speeding toward her. As the boat turned around, reportedly to pick up a wake surfer, the driver apparently didn’t see the girls in the water. The propeller caught Cora’s right leg, striking it in five places. She suffered a severed artery and tendons, and a broken tibia, fibula and toe.

Cora was rushed to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, where she had a 12-hour surgery to clean her wounds and assess her injuries. The Thomases and doctors at C.S. Mott remind everyone to take extra caution on crowded waters.

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