Lakeland Teen Injured in Watercraft Crash Has Setback

Zoe Gibbs, the Lakeland teenager whose lower left leg was severed in a watercraft collision April 24 on Lake Gibson, faces further amputation because of a persistent infection.

Zoe, 14, received a muscle graft on the wound site last week. Doctors at Tampa General Hospital discovered Wednesday that the implanted muscle, taken from under her right arm, was dying as the result of infection, said Whitney Gibbs, Zoe’s older sister. Gibbs said surgeons will operate today to remove the implanted muscle.

Gibbs said doctors plan to amputate Zoe’s left leg above the knee in a few days. She said that operation is complicated by the presence of a rod inserted into Zoe’s femur to stabilize the bone, which incurred a compound fracture in the collision.

Gibbs said doctors are awaiting laboratory tests to identify the infection.

Zoe, who has undergone eight operations, remained in the hospital’s intensive-care unit Wednesday.

Her condition was downgraded from fair to serious.

All at the Douglas Bader Foundation are thinking of you, Zoe, and wish you a successful operation and speedy recovery.

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