The Motorcycle Accident that Almost Killed Her -- Saved Her Life!

Sandra Yawn lives an adventurous life – she’s the first female yacht captain on Bravo’s “Below Deck,” now in a new season with “Below Deck Mediterranean.” She’s survived pirates and shipboard fires, but Sandy’s most harrowing experience came in a near-fatal motorcycle accident on dry land. In a stunning twist, that accident saved her life.

Sandy says she loves her life as a captain, but “Life wasn’t always smooth sailing for me.” Three years ago, Sandy was riding her motorcycle – “I may have been speeding a little,” she admits – when she struck a car that pulled in front of her. She sustained a fractured foot, multiple pelvic fractures, and internal bleeding.

While Sandy was in the hospital, a urologist noticed something amiss in her pelvic scans. After she was recovered from the crash, she visited him and discovered that she had a cancerous tumor in her kidney, which the urologist removed. “If it hadn’t been for the accident,” she says, “They never would have discovered the cancer. I feel I was meant to be here for a reason, and I definitely want to fulfill that reason!”

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“You live quite the life!” ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork tells Sandy. Urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman notes that her tumor was contained to the kidney – “I’m cancer-free!” Sandy confirms. But if the tumor had not been discovered, she would have had three years to live.

Dr. Stork wants to know how Sandy stays strong, working with a male crew on the open water. “She’s a badass!” says Dr. Berman. “The amount of work she had to go through, is equivalent to the Herculean efforts we had to go through [as doctors]. It’s a huge amount of training and experience.”

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“It’s just a job to do,” Sandy responds. “I love boating, I love being a yacht captain, I love people.”

You can catch Captain Sandy at work on “Below Deck Mediterranean,” premiering May 2 at 9/8c on Bravo.

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