A North Carolina teen who was bitten by a shark while swimming along the coast over the weekend has lost part of her left leg and several fingers, and was freed from its grip after her father punched the animal in the face five times, according to reports.
Paige Winter, 17, of Havelock, North Carolina was attacked by the shark while swimming at Fort Macon State Park June 2 according to reports. It was then that her father, Charlie Winter, who is a firefighter, paramedic and Marine, sprang into action to save his daughter.
Winter’s left leg had to be amputated above the knee, her grandmother Janet Winter said in a Facebook post Sunday. “Thank God our son was with her,” she said. “[H]e said he punched the shark in the face five times before it let go.”
“Surgery over she is still alive one leg gone,” Janet Winter said Monday. “May need a hand transplant in the future and several on the other. Please keep her in your prayers.”
The teen released a statement following the attack, expressing gratitude. “I would like to thank everyone for reaching out and helping me the last 24 hours as a result of the shark attack that occurred at Fort Macon on June 2,” Paige Winter said in a statement, WCTI reported. “Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be OK.”
A GoFundMe campaign was started to help offset the cost of medical care. “No donation is too small and the funds will be used to assist in the many surgeries, physical therapy, prosthetics, recovery process, and Charlie’s missed days from work.” As of Tuesday morning, the campaign has raised nearly $29,000.
Despite the ordeal, the teen doesn’t appear to hold a grudge against the animal, according to her mother Marcy Winter in an update on GoFundMe. “Paige is out of surgery and awake, she’s still pretty groggy but cracking jokes. She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people.”
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