Dear Customers and Friends:

Many of you know about the horrible boating accident in mid-April that left my Mom, Gloria Syfan, with the partial amputation of her left leg.

Gloria Syfan

Thank you, on behalf of my entire family, for your prayers and support throughout our ordeal that very nearly took the life of my Mom. Within our close circle, Gloria goes by the nickname “Go-Go” due to her positivity and high energy – and she has certainly displayed that spirit more than ever in the weeks since her accident.

Having lived through a cancer diagnosis (my granddaughter Brecklynn) and a lung transplant (my father Jim), our family is certainly not immune to medical scares. Through it all, however, I have become such a believer in the power of prayer and community.

Our family is publicly sharing the personal story behind that difficult day last April, because we want everyone to know how God worked through a long string of miracle workers every step of the way to rescue my Mom.

It was a beautiful spring afternoon, warm enough for one of my parents’ first boat outings of the year. However, the day quickly went south when Mom fell out of the boat while reaching for a hat that had blown off her head and into the water.

At that moment, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. But looking back, I now realize that everything also went perfectly right in a series of unbelievable miracles.

My father was docking near Gainesville’s Lake Lanier Olympic Park when Gloria asked him to go back to retrieve her hat from the lake. As he put it in reverse, my mom stepped out onto the boat’s swim platform and lost her balance while reaching for the hat. Before Jim could shift into neutral, it was too late. Gloria was swept underneath the boat and into the spinning propeller.

But it wasn’t too late to save her life, and that’s when the miracles happened. After stopping the engine, Dad reached into the water to pull Mom into the boat, a superhuman effort since Gloria was fully clothed, wet and heavy – and bleeding profusely.

It was a horrible sight, but Dad still had the presence of mind to remove his belt and wrap it as a tourniquet around Mom’s partially severed leg. We later learned the prop had narrowly missed her femoral artery, which would have meant certain death if it hadn’t. But the miracles continued even as Gloria was slipping into shock with her life in balance.

A White County sheriff’s deputy, fishing nearby, witnessed the accident and immediately called 911. Then, an off-duty Hall County EMT heading home from work heard the emergency call go out on his radio just as he passed by the lake venue. He immediately turned around on Clark’s Bridge, drove to the docks, and initiated life-saving treatment.

In our community, we are also blessed to have a Level 1 trauma center at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. From the emergency department to surgery and post-recovery in ICU, my Mom was in the caring hands of top professionals.

Now that my Mom is on the mend, it has been her “go-go” spirit that has kept her upbeat and looking ahead to walking again with a prosthetic limb. When Gloria met with the doctors to discuss next steps in her recovery, she informed them that she wanted not one but three artificial legs – one with a tennis shoe, one with a high heel, and the other with spurs for her horse riding. That is 100 percent Gloria Syfan – our family’s eternal optimist.

Throughout this ordeal, I never doubted Mom’s positivity would see her through to better days. However, I have been pleasantly surprised at how her infectious spirit has also inspired others. So many friends and colleagues have shared how my Mom’s courage has helped them face their own challenges.

It may sound strange for me to say this, but Mom’s misfortune has also been a blessing. A blessing that she survived. A blessing that she will one day walk again. And most of all, a blessing to our community, friends, co-workers, and family who will be walking beside her all the way.

Truly blessed to be a Blessing,
Greg Syfan
President, Syfan Logistics
“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
Psalms 106: 1