Bethany Phillips: Northwest Florida Teen Thrives with New Prosthetic Leg 8 Months After Surviving Jet Ski Accident

Bethany Phillips: Northwest Florida Teen Thrives with New Prosthetic Leg 8 Months After Surviving Jet Ski Accident

After surviving a traumatic accident in August 2020 and undergoing a below-knee amputation just one month later, Bethany Phillips is taking it one step at a time. After receiving her first prosthetic leg and officially starting her journey toward restored mobility, Bethany is learning to walk again and is already getting back to doing the things she loves, including starring in her high school play.


On August 15, 2020, then-17-year-old Bethany Phillips’ life was changed forever after a jet ski she was riding with her father was T-boned by another watercraft on the Poquito Bayou in Shalimar, Florida. What was supposed to be an enjoyable father-daughter jet ski ride to her grandparents’ house ended abruptly when Bethany and her dad, James, were thrown into the water. Both were seriously injured, with Bethany suffering a broken and dislocated tibia that resulted in a severed peritoneal artery (which cut off blood flow to her left foot), and James breaking his pelvis and back.

After arriving at a local medical center, Bethany endured 12 surgeries over two months – all while receiving hundreds of cards, prayers, and encouraging words from the local community as they closely followed her story. Ultimately, Bethany was transferred to a hospital in Birmingham where doctors were unable to salvage her left leg, resulting in a below-the-knee amputation in September. Though Bethany’s senior year—in the middle of a pandemic, no less—was not off to the start she’d envisioned, her positive attitude and strong fighting spirit prevailed through it all.

Watch Bethany’s Story on WKRG-TV

Determination, Spirit, Renewed Mobility

In March 2021, Bethany was fit with her first prosthetic leg by Hanger Clinic Area Clinic Manager Ted Graves, CPO, who says Bethany’s determination and progress are truly inspiring. Due to her high activity level and love of water activities like paddleboarding, Bethany was fit with a waterproof hydraulic ankle, the EchelonER.

Bethany is excited that her mobility has been restored, and can’t wait to get back on the water and walk across the stage at her high school graduation in June 2021. With her new prosthetic leg, she’s been able to walk to class again and even star in her high school’s production of Steel Magnolias, playing the role of Shelby alongside her younger sister, Joanna, with whom she’s grown very close since the accident.

To learn more about Bethany’s story, read the full press release in our Newsroom.

Limb Loss Patient Bethany Phillips in Steel Magnolias

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