OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Two Oklahoma women are recovering from devastating injuries they suffered while visiting a beach in Washington State.
“For my 24th birthday, I was kind, just like I wanted to go,” said Lauren Perry. “I was so excited. Like this has to be perfect. We drove 2 1/2 hours from our hotel to Ruby Beach.”
Ruby Beach is remote and loved by photographers for its scenic shoreline. A huge wave, sometimes called a rogue wave, caught the couple while packing up to go.
“I happened just to turn my head and looked back, and as I did, that’s when the wave was coming,” said Perry.
“It was about five or six feet above my head. I don’t even know how… I just looked and saw it, and I looked at her, and I had time to say go Jenny… run! I tried to push her forward just as it crashed.”
Perry and her girlfriend Jenny Vu told KFOR the rogue wave suddenly smashed them into the rocks and a large Driftwood tree added to the wave’s power.
All I remember is just water covering my entire body, and I told myself to close my eyes and hold my breath,” said Vu. “And so when I did, a giant tree hit me, and I blacked out.”
Once the wave subsided, Lauren stood up, but Jenny was blacked out on the shore. Lauren told KFOR she rushed to Jenny and pulled her as far up the shore before falling and blacking out.
“I remember just being so angry at my body that I couldn’t get up again,” said Perry. “I started screaming… get Jenny! Save Jenny! Where is Jenny? Is she okay? Is she alive?”
Lauren woke up soon after and joined her. Bystanders finally heard them and quickly rushed over. They were able to administer first aid while calling 911. The ambulances arrived and rushed them to Forks hospital.
The nurses at Forks Hospital tried to stabilize the women before sending them to Harborview Hospital in Seattle. They were put in the same ambulance for a 45-minute drive to the airport.
Halfway through the ambulance ride, the truck blew a tire while driving and crashed into a tree.
“They wreck into a tree. I guess that day out of all days, it was the biggest storm in Seattle’s history,” said Perry.
“They put flares around the ambulance, and the police cars and fire trucks surround us so the next ambulance can find us.”
“Why us? Why of all things? Why did it pick us?”
Once arriving at the airport, the couple were loaded into two separate medical planes and flown to Harborview Hospital. Vu told KFOR she had ten fractured ribs, lacerations on her liver, internal bleeding, pulmonary contusion, a broken pelvis, and a concussion. Perry had internal bleeding, cuts on her liver, a fractured pelvis, and pulmonary contusion. Both girls had to have pelvis surgery.
“Our lives were so great and I don’t think we realize how great they were so it really goes back to DONT take it for granted,” said Perry.
Both women are now with family– recovering after spending time in a rehab facility.
They’re facing medical bills and can’t return to work due to the severity of their injuries.
If you would like to donate the couple has a gofundme account.