How Did Litzi Botello Lose Her Arm? Here’s What We Know

National Geographic’s Port Protection has captivated us as much as the town of Port Protection has captivated its 100 inhabitants. One of those residents, Litzi Botello, is the silent, stoic, and lovable type. Her story is told on Port Protection to a degree, but despite being one of the “characters” in a television show, she keeps her life pretty private.

One thing that’s impossible to miss about Litzi is that she only has one arm. Despite this, she has survived the harsh conditions put upon her and her family in the small town of Port Protection, Alaska. While she has never publicly shared how she lost her arm, she has shared how it has affected her life.

Litzi Botello has had to deal with devastating deaths on top of the loss of her arm, and has found solace through her art.

One thing that makes Litzi so lovable is her story. She met her husband, John Bean, when she was 22 and living in Los Angeles. So, she did what any young impulsive woman in love would do, and moved with him to Port Protection, Alaska. Together, they had two sons, Johnny and Leland.

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Litzi shared with a Ketchikan, Alaska news outlet regarding a 2019 art show: “[There were] pretty major happenings in my life and then I couldn’t do it. And I think to be in a really creative space, to create something beautiful that you think is good, you have to be in the right head space. And it took me a while to get back, but now it’s fun, you know? And not necessarily to sell because it’s fun to create something that you can look at and I guess be proud of, you know?” 

Whatever happened to Litzi’s arm doesn’t matter as much as the fact that she wears her one arm with pride. And as a city girl turned Alaskan wilderness dweller, she’s made quite the impression on us all by not only surviving but thriving in the harsh conditions of Port Protection. Litzi ruminates, “I feel with every cell of my being, I am where I was meant to be. Right here, in Port Protection.”

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