THE twin sisters who fought off a terrifying 7ft crocodile in Mexico have told the teen who was attacked last week “you are not alone” – as they reveal they both struggle from PTSD six months on from their horrifying experience.
Georgia Laurie still has dreams about the huge beast sinking its teeth into her sister Melissa, who was left fighting for her life after the incident in June.
Twin sisters who fought off a 7ft crocodile have sent their support to another backpacker who suffered a similar attack Credit: Jon Bond
Georgia and Melissa Laurie, 28, say they are suffering from PTSD six months after the horrific ordeal Credit: Getty
The sisters, both 28, said the similar attack this week on British backpacker Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, in Zambia, brought back the memories of what happened to them in Mexico.
They were among a group of tourists in June who were taken by a rogue tourguide to swim in a lagoon – which unbeknownst to them was a nesting place for crocs.
When Melissa, who used to work as a zookeeper at Longleat, was grabbed by the leg and dragged into a death roll by one of the huge animals, qualified diver Georgia rushed over and punched it repeatedly until it released her sister.
The news earlier this week that Amelie had been savaged by a crocodile while rafting on a river near the famous Victoria Falls in Zambia was difficult to process for the twins as it “resurfaced memories” of their own terrifying experience.
The twins, who are now back home in Sandhurst, Berks, told The Sun: “Not only did we feel incredibly saddened by the news but also concerned for how the trauma will come to affect her and all those that were involved in her rescue.
“We can fully empathise with what this beautiful young woman has been through and would like to wish her all the best in her physical and mental recovery.
“We hope through our shared experience she will be comforted by the fact that she is not alone if she is ever struggling to come to terms with what happened. We have so much admiration for her incredible strength and bravery and we would like to extend our full support and love to her and her family.”
Melissa spent four days in an induced coma after suffering puncture wounds across her stomach and so does not remember much from the attack. But Georgia, who was bitten on the arm by the croc, remembers the ordeal in vivid detail.
Georgia told The Sun: “It doesn’t feel real. It’s hard to believe I did actually smack a crocodile in the face and save her life. I dream about crocodiles or Melissa being in pain at least once a week.
“In one recently we were in kayaks and we were paddling away. Then this massive crocodile started following us so we started padding faster but it’s catching up. In my dream I was calling for my parents. But when I turned around it tipped up your kayak and then it had her entire body in its mouth.
“I was punching it but it wouldn’t let go and you were screaming and no one I came to help and it’s just like blackness. And then I woke up.”
Both Melissa and Georgia have suffered from PTSD since the attack and find that being around water can trigger memories of the day when the crocodile struck.
I dream about crocodiles or Melissa being in pain at least once a week.
Melissa said: “I went walking over the meadows near our house which we’ve been going to since we were little. It’s got river running through it with reeds along it but it looks a little like mangroves. Going there takes me right back to the attack.”
The twins were attacked on June 6 in Manialtepec lagoon and Melissa spent almost 12 days in a hospital in Mexico where doctors stitched up wounds on her stomach, arm, and legs.
After landing back in the UK on July 3, she went to hospital to get her wounds checked out and was told by an NHS doctor that the surgeon in Mexico had botched the operation on her wrist.
Pointing to the two scars, Melissa said: “This one is from Mexico and this was the nice neat one from the NHS. We joke that the Mexican one has been done by the mailman because it is so messy. There were several holes in the bone where they drilled in and then changed the position. I think they were filled up. Then they got a new plate and you can really see a difference. The NHS is amazing. The fact I got all of that done for free it’s just incredible.”
Two weeks after landing back in the UK, Melissa woke up in the middle of the night with searing pain and was rushed to hospital again. She was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and diargiatis, which is a parasitic infection she picked up in the lagoon.
Although physiotherapy is still ongoing for Melissa, both sisters are now well on their way back to how life was before the attack.
It is hard to think about what happened but we deal with it with humour because that’s just who we are.
Georgia has also been told she will be given a Silver award from the Royal Humane Society which is awarded to people who have “put themselves in extreme personal danger”, “carried out a very long and arduous rescue”, and “returned repeatedly to a highly dangerous situation”.
Both wearing matching crocodile rings, they joked about giving their older sister Hana an inflatable crocodile to take with her on her honeymoon to Mexico.
Georgia said: “Our sister got married a few weeks ago and we got matching temporary crocodile tattoos at her reception. It is hard to think about what happened but we deal with it with humour because that’s just who we are.”
It comes as 18-year-old British traveller Amelie Osborn-Smith was attacked in Zambia last week
Georgia, who saved Melissa's life, said 'I dream about crocodiles or Melissa being in pain at least once a week' Credit: Jon Bond
The sisters both wear matching crocodile rings as Georgia says 'we deal with it with humour because that’s just who we are' Credit: Jon Bond
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