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!”
“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.”
“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.