Katie Malone was celebrating her 29th birthday during a vacation in Mexico.
It was June 9 when the woman went parasailing over Puerto Vallarta, according to CNN, and became detached from the boat that was pulling her along. She floated in the air for 45 minutes until finally landing a couple of miles away.
When she finally landed, she crashed next to an alligator, her brother Brendan Malone told PEOPLE Magazine. He told the magazine that his sister suffered a collapsed lung, four broken ribs and other serious injuries from the crash.
Brendan Malone told CNN that his sister has skydived in the past, so she at first tried to direct the parasail with her feet and held her hands up. But he said she eventually became unconscious about halfway into her terrifying descent.
"She was praying the whole time for her safety," he told CNN. "She was mostly concerned about breaking her arms and legs."
He described some of the harrowing memories his 29-year-old sister has from the experience before passing out.
“She remembers coming really close to a balcony at one of the resorts and she could hear the people talking and screaming," he told CBS8. "That’s how close she got to it."
After landing, first responders quickly worked to make sure the alligator near her didn't attack, CBS8 reported.
Katie Malone received treatment from doctors in Mexico at first because she lacked the medical trip insurance to travel back to the U.S., according to 10News. But she was finally able to land in California on Tuesday with the help of donations.
A GoFundMe page for the woman has raised nearly $50,000 by Friday afternoon. The family estimated on the page that her medical procedures have already cost around $43,000.
"She is in a world of hurt and needs our help," the page reads. "She would be the first person to give her last penny to help people or animals in need. She is gonna have an endless number in amount for medical bills and the amount of work she’ll miss from her many many months of recovery.
"Please help a gentle soul in need."
She is now receiving treatment at the UCSD Medical Center in San Diego, per 10News.
According to PEOPLE Magazine, Katie Malone had surgery on June 23 for her cheek, face and jaw injuries. It required 14 screws.
Brendan Malone declined to comment when PEOPLE Magazine asked if they would sue the people behind the parasailing mishap — but asserted that his family is "beyond unhappy" with their actions.
“Those guys left the scene of the crime," he said. "They flipped the boat back over and put it back in the ocean and bailed while my sister was floating away."