Crocodile bites off woman's arm 5 days before her wedding

ZIMBABWE, Africa -- A woman in Africa didn't let losing her arm to a crocodile stop her from marrying the love of her life, although she did have to change her venue.

"In one week, we went from shock and agony to a truly amazing experience," 27-year-old Jamie Fox said.

Fox and his 25-year-old then-fiancee Zanele Ndlovu were canoeing in the Upper Zambezi River near Victoria Falls on April 30 when suddenly, an 8-foot crocodile leaped out of the river and snatched Ndlovu into the water, ripping off her arm.

"The crocodile just jumped out of the water, and bit a chunk of my arm together with the side of the boat," Ndlovu said. "The canoe started deflating, and it all happened so fast. The crocodile bit me again and pulled me into the water. My husband was thrown out on the opposite side, so the boat was between us."

That's when Fox started punching the reptile.

"Jamie swam over to where I was struggling with the crocodile, which was trying to pull me to the bottom of the river, and grabbed my waist, and with the other hand he rained blows down on the crocodile," Ndlovu said.

The couple had been dating for about 18 months, and Fox proposed in February. Victoria Falls Guide, a travel website, describes canoeing on the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls "the perfect activity for those who not only want to see the abundant bird and animal life but also want to experience the peace, tranquility and beauty of the Zambezi River." But the experience quickly turned into a nightmare.

"I was shouting, trying to save her," Fox said. "She was not complaining of pain when we managed to pull her out of the water, maybe because of the shock. We were hoping the doctors would save her arm but that was not to be."

Five days later, she was walking down the aisle of a hospital chapel. Ndlovu said she felt blessed to be alive and wanted to keep their wedding date. The venue moved to the hospital, where she was still recovering.

"We were glad we still had our lives and managed to keep our wedding date, although we had to do with a much smaller venue," Fox said. "The celebrations went ahead at the original venue, but Zenele and I had to remain at the hospital."

He described the wedding as "incredible."

The couple plans to move to the United Kingdom.

Ndlovu was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

(The Associated Press contriburted to this report)

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.