The teenager who survivedLast week near Tallahassee, Florida, she now faces upcoming surgery to amputate one of her legs.
Addison Bethea, 17, of nearby Berry, was surfing in the shallow waters off the coast of Keaton Beach on Thursday when a shark suddenly approached and bit her. Neither authorities nor witnesses have been able to confirm what type of shark attacked the Pythia, although people who later saw this happen estimated the animal to be approximately 9 feet long.
Bethea is due to have an amputation scheduled for Tuesday after the shark stuck the top of her right leg.mentioned. Bethea recounted the details of the incident during a recent interview at the hospital where she is currently receiving treatment, and explained how her older brother, firefighter Rhett Willingham, managed to fend off the shark and provide emergency medical support after it was pulled to safety.
“We were moving about two hours and we went to the last point, for only 15 minutes, and we were going towards the boat and it just felt like a tug,” she said. Bethea then remembered trying to punch the shark in the nose, but noted that she was unable to do so due to her “strange location”.
“Then she tried to drag me under the water because we were in six feet of water,” she added.
Willingham told CBS Miami that he was eight feet from Pythea when he heard his sister screaming. “I stood up to turn around to see what was going on because it seemed like something was terrifying her,” he said. “She was under the water and then she came back and there was blood around her and I saw the shark.”
He retrieved Pythia from the shark’s cage before transferring her to a boat and placing an initial tourniquet on her injured leg to reduce blood loss. The siblings’ mother, Michelle Murphy, praised Bullingham and described her daughter’s survival as a “miracle”.
“My daughter, by medical standards, shouldn’t be alive right now and I know that,” Murphy said. “It’s a miracle that she survived this and I know if Rhett wasn’t the one she was with when it happened, we might be in a completely different scenario now.”
Although Bethea faces a lengthy recovery, the teen is optimistic about eventually returning to the water.
“Don’t be afraid of the ocean,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people commenting on my Instagram saying, ‘I’m so scared of the ocean right now.'” But I will still go to the ocean when I recover and get better. I will still do what I love, don’t let fear control your life.”
Thursday’s attack is one of the latest in an alarming pattern of similar incidents. shark attacks Estimates Lightning strikes approximately 270 people in the United States each year.In 2021, after several consecutive years of declining numbers, with more registered in the United States than in any other country. nearly 40% The 73 unexplained shark bites reported globally arose from accidents in Florida. In contrast, the National Weather Service