North Carolina

After a big wave washes away North Carolina woman’s ‘beach leg,’ she gets a quick fix

Jennifer Rhyne

The waves at Myrtle Beach were crashing so hard on Wednesday they took off someone’s leg.

Not a real leg, of course. But for Jennifer Rhyne from Ellerbe, North Carolina, a stand-in prosthetic built for the water during herfamily’s beach vacation couldn’t come fast enough.

Lucky for Rhyne, Troy Decker, director of prosthetics at Sandhills Orthotics and Prosthetics, showed up in South Carolina on Thursday with the replacement in hand.

Her prosthetist happened to have a foot in her size and a mold in process — “Y’all can’t imagine how much this all had to line up,” she said in a Facebook post announcing the next-day delivery.

Rhyne has been using a prosthetic since she lost her leg in a car accident about 25 years ago, WMBF reported. She also has one specially-made for the ocean.

But on Wednesday, the news outlet reported she was hit “just right” with a wave that happened to knock the prosthetic right off while in the ocean with her husband and daughter. Rhyne then posted to Facebook asking fellow beach-goers to give her a call if the “beach leg” washed up on shore.

“Y’all remember those lost beach wedding rings?,” she wrote in the post. “KID YOU NOT - the waves are so bad today they knocked off my beach leg and I lost it in the ocean.”

In the meantime, she said Decker was working to build her replacement.

WMBF reported the pair met in Blenheim, South Carolina, on Thursday night to make the delivery and necessary adjustments.

Rhyne told McClatchy newsgroup that Decker “deserves all the praise — he literally saved the day!”

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.