Zanele Ndlovu, 25, was dragged into the Upper Zambezi River by an eight-foot Nile crocodile during a canoe trip which almost ended her life had it not been for the actions of her husband-to-be, Briton Jamie Fox, 27.
The former tennis pro added she is happier than before the attack took place as she still made it down the aisle days after the life-saving operation which removed her arm.
Speaking to This Morning, Zanele said: “To me it was obvious I was going to lose my arm. It was barely hanging on.
“There was just a piece of skin keeping it together so I kind of had an idea and it wasn’t a shock to me when they had to amputate it.”
The adventurous couple had decided to honeymoon the week before their wedding and had joined six others on a river trip to Victoria Falls.
Reliving the attack Zanele described how the croc popped its head up near her and punctured the boat before grabbing her and pulling her into the water on Monday April 30.
“It grabbed my arm and was tossing me around,” she said. “There was panic everywhere and the tour guides couldn’t get me back onto the canoe.”
Her now-husband had fallen into the water on the other side of the boat as it began to deflate and was unable to reach Zanele.
Jamie said: “There was no one thought throughout the time, just fear and panic.
“The canoe started to deflate as the crocodile pierced it and I fell out the other side which divided us. There was no way for me to get any closer.
“All I could see was the croc thrashing about and Zan being thrown this way and that way.”
In sheer desperation he managed to swim over to Zanele and the pair fought the crocodile together until it finally released her and they were able to drag her onto the riverbank.
“There was a lot of panic, a lot of crying, and it felt like forever until the helicopters arrived and we were able to move on to hospital,” added Jamie.
Doctors battled to save the brave bride’s life and were forced to amputate her right arm though she also suffered broken ribs, a fractured hand and almost lost her left thumb.
Despite the brutal attack the loved-up couple tied the knot five days later as planned in the hospital chapel.
When doctors offered the chance for them to marry in the hospital Jamie said it took just two minutes to agree as both were worried the other might want to postpone the big day.
He added: “I spent most of the days before the wedding crying with her family and my family and I wanted to try and make sure I didn’t cry on the wedding day because it was such a happy occasion for us both – though I definitely got choked up as she came down the aisle in her dress.”
The happy couple are now looking forward to their future together and said the attack has not dampened their sense of adventure.
Already able to joke about the horrifying near-death experience Zanele quipped: “I still enjoy being outside and trying new things, but maybe not canoeing anymore and not on the Zambezi.
“I am so grateful to be alive because I was so close to death and I am happier than I was before.”
Zanele has now been discharged from hospital and the pair are finishing their visa paperwork so they can settle down in the UK together.
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