A BRITISH backpacker plucked from the jaws of a crocodile while swimming with her twin in Mexico has spoken for the first time.
Melissa Laurie, 28, has awoken from a coma and praised her brave sister, Georgia, for saving her, adding: “I am extremely grateful that I came out of this alive.”
Melissa had been placed in a medically induced coma after suffering life-threatening wounds on her stomach and legs, which became infected and had resulted in sepsis.
Georgia was hailed as a “super-badass” after saving her identical twin sister from a crocodile’s jaws by punching it in the face three times after the beast threw her sister “around like a rag doll”.
And today Melissa told the MailOnline, while recovering in the surfing resort of Puerto Escondido, that she was ‘grateful’ to be alive thanks to her sister’s heroism.
She added: “I am extremely grateful that I came out of this alive.
“And that I had Georgia fight my side for me. So I am very happy for that.”
The twins’ worried mum, Sue Laurie, said that Georgia had sent a photo of “her in hospital bed in intensive care and we’ve seen Melissa for the first time.
“She is looking quite a bit better.”
The positive news comes as photos show brave Georgia walking outside an Oaxaca, Mexico, hospital days after she and Melissa were attacked.
The British backpacker, who dramatically saved her twin sister from the jaws of a 10ft crocodile, has been seen for the first time with a bandaged hand.
In a recent update on Georgia’s condition, the family’s online fundraising page said that she “has been discharged from the hospital and remains nearby to continue with dressing changes and treatment etc.
“She has told us she went to see Melissa before she left and it was really hard.
“Mel is very bruised, has two black eyes and deep cuts to her face, torso and leg where the crocodile has bitten and scratched her.
“There’s currently no change in information for Melissa’s condition which remains “delicate”, but we think stable.
“We wait to see how she reacts and recovers over the coming days.”
The twins had been visiting the Manialtepec lagoon near the surf and beach destination of Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca state on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast.
They had been volunteering and travelling in Mexico.
The lagoon is known for its stands of mangroves and for brackish waters that turn bioluminescent at some times of the year.
The two Britons were swimming when Melissa was attacked by a crocodile, with her brave sister also injured when trying to save her.
“It must have been a smaller animal, because if it had been a big one, she would not have resurfaced,” reported Said Silva, head of the local civil defence office.
Hana Laurie, the twins’ elder sister, said that the two were swimming when the crocodile grabbed Melissa and dragged her under.
She said Georgia “started hitting” the animal to save her sister and fought it off as it attacked again.
“Georgia punched the crocodile repeatedly as it came back three times to attack, while friends of theirs went to get help,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Although Georgia has been released from hospital, Melissa remains in a critical condition because her bite wounds have become infected.
She has also developed sepsis.
Hana Laurie wrote that the guide who took them to the lagoon appeared to be unlicensed and operating illegally.
She said on a GoFundMe page – which has raised nearly £44,000 – that there “are plans for our Dad (Sean) to travel with British Airways to Mexico in the coming days.
“We’ve been linked with a fantastic Dr Esteban Bolanos who has given up his time to help us communicate with the hospital/Melissa’s team.”
A few days earlier, Hana had explained that the twins had been taking a break “from their ambitions to scuba dive and work with animals… when a crocodile attacked and viciously bit and shook Melissa.
“We are so lucky that Georgia was there, and had immediate reaction through her water rescue training to fight off the crocodile and drag Mel to safety.
“Georgia punched the crocodile repeatedly as it came back three times to attack, while friends of theirs went to get help.
“What is clear, is that Mel’s condition is ‘delicate’ having suffered an open wrist fracture, organ lacerations/internal bleeding and water on her lungs.
“Doctors are very concerned that she’ll contract an infection and have put them both on intravenous antibiotics.
“Melissa has been placed into a medically induced coma, and remains in that condition while doctors attempt to drain fluid and enable her to breathe on her own.
“My family are overwhelmed with pride that Georgia managed to take the brave action she did.”
The twins are Berkshire-born backpackers who had been travelling around the world together since March 2021.
They were planning to arrive home in November 2021.
On June 11, 2021, Melissa’s twin revealed that she has now woken from the coma and is in recovery.
Georgia told Radio 1 Newsbeat in a WhatsApp voice note: “She’s doing really much better. She’s doing really good.”
The Brit added that the tubes inserted to help her twin breathe had recently been taken out.
Georgia added: “She’s been breathing on her own very well.
“She can’t talk because of the soreness of the tube but she can hear.”
Horrified locals said the twins were found covered in blood and bitten to the bone after being savaged by the predator.
A local tour guide Gerardo Escamilla Perez, known as “Lalo” spoke about how he was able to help the twins using an oar before an ambulance transferred them to hospital.
He also claimed that they had in-fact been swimming by a mangrove in the river and NOT in the nearby Manialtepec lagoon, which is a haven for swimming tourists.
Meanwhile, the tour guide – who has vanished in the wake of the incident – is believed to be a German national with no affiliation with the local tourism authority.