Maja Kazazic

 Maja Kazazic swimming with Winter

When Maja Kazazic was 16 years old and living in Bosnia during the war, she was severely injured by a mortar shell that killed six of her friends. As a result of her injuries, her leg was amputated and she was in a critical condition when the British aid worker Sally Becker found her in the basement of the besieged hospital. Sally drove her across the front line to safety and Maja was then flown to the States for treatment, not knowing if she would ever see her family again.

Undergoing rehabilitation at a hospital in Maryland, it was months before she found out her mother, father and brother had survived the war. Eventually, Maja was able to bring them all to the United States where she learned English, graduated from high school and college and is now a successful business owner.

Moving to Clearwater, Florida, Maja began coming to the Marine Aquarium and started following the story of Winter, the dolphin without a tail. She kept visiting and following Winter's progress and began to feel that Winter was the animal version of herself. The two had both been through traumatic injuries, lost part of themselves and had prosthetics. Beyond that, from the time Maja was five years old, she had always dreamed of seeing a dolphin in person.

Maja decided she wanted the same doctor as Winter and went to Hanger Prosthetics to for a prosthetic leg which she uses with a WintersGel liner, created from the same type of gel that was originally created for Winter.

Maja now volunteers at the Aquarium once a week and has a truly amazing and inspirational story about how a dolphin who helped her make it through her own struggles you can read more about at

   Maja Walking  
   Sally Becker with Maja  
   In November 2009, Sally Becker and Maja were reunited after 16 years.  
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