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'No home, no car and no leg' | Ocracoke woman loses everything to Hurricane Dorian

After Kelly Shinn lost everything to Hurricane Dorian, she lost her prosthetic leg after going for a swim in the ocean. Fortunately, her leg was found the next day.

OCRACOKE, N.C. — A woman in Ocracoke lost nearly everything to Hurricane Dorian’s wrath, but she pushed on. 

Kelly Shinn said that the hurricane destroyed her car and everything in her home and that she was only able to save pictures and love notes from her late husband.

"I have been lucky. I had a disaster crew come in and haul out all of my belongings," said Shinn. "It was really devastating actually, the day they came was the day after the 5th anniversary that my husband died. And I watched them carry all of the things I had left of him to the edge of the road and that was pretty excruciating.” 

Despite the pain of losing everything she owns, Shinn is just happy to be alive. 

During Hurricane Dorian, she stayed with friends who had a house on stilts, but there was a close call.

"The storm was horrific. A building just floated right toward us, and I was absolutely petrified because if it hit the house we were going to be absolutely compromised,” said Shinn.

If Hurricane Dorian wasn't hard enough to go through, Shinn is also a double amputee.

Shinn said she lost her legs when she was just 16 due to meningitis and sepsis.

According to Shinn, prosthetics can cost between  $15,000 and $20,000. She never imagined losing one.

That's exactly what happened when she decided to go for a swim on Wednesday as she and the community continue to recover from Dorian.

"There were people swimming, and I was just like, 'wow that's so inviting,'" Shinn recalled. "As I was coming up out of the beach on the sand ledge, a wave knocked me over. I didn't have [the prosthetic] sleeve on, and it sucked my leg right out,” said Shinn.

Even still, Shinn’s positivity to life never wavered.

"All I saw was beauty. Beauty, beauty, beauty,” said Shinn. 

As she began to deal with another a loss, Shinn received some good news.

As luck would have it, some beachgoers found Shinn’s prosthetic leg Thursday. 

Now Shinn is helping others. Despite all of the loss, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else besides Ocracoke.

"People who have lost everything are giving up what they do have for anybody else who needs it. That's why I live here, that's why I love Ocracoke. It's the best of humanity right here,” said Shinn. 

Shinn and many others lost everything in Ocracoke and she said if you want to help, to donate to the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

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