Florida teen Addison Bethea hit shark that attacked her leg, dad says

The Florida teenager, whose leg was badly injured in a shark attack on Thursday, punched and poked in the eyes of the carnivore that was trying to eat her, her father said in a Facebook post.

Addison Bethea is now awake and alert in the intensive care unit of a Tallahassee hospital after nearly losing her life to the 9-foot beast as it swerved off the coast of Keaton Beach in Taylor County. To scare the predator, Addison and her brother bravely fended off the shark, which bit her right leg twice before swimming away, her father wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

“By the grace of God she was with her brother Rhett Willingham, a first responder/firefighter who acted quickly to literally fight off the shark and dragged her away and into a nearby boat owned by an unknown person (thanks whoever you are) said her father, Shane Bethea.

After taking his sister to the safety of a boat, Willingham put a tourniquet on her to prevent massive blood loss and save her life, Shane continued. Addison was flown to the hospital as soon as the boat reached shore and was immediately given emergency surgery, he said.

“[Doctors] had to remove a vein from her left leg to create an artery in her right to try and restore blood flow to her foot and lower leg. The nerve on the back of the thigh was severely damaged. Her thigh area is unreal damaged,” Shane said.

As of Friday, doctors were still unsure of the extent of the damage to her leg and are monitoring her condition, Shane said. Addison will undergo a second operation on Saturday, the hospital said in its own Facebook post on Friday.

Shane also reported that Addison, who was sedated until Friday, can now communicate by typing on her phone, joking about beating up the shark and asking for a Frosty from Wendy’s.

“She’s been through more than I could ever have imagined, but she’s a soldier,” Shane said. “Please pray for her and the difficulties of the coming days. She’s far from over the mountain, but she’s alive and that’s the most important thing for us.”

In a separate Facebook post, Michelle Murphy, Addison’s mother, wrote that while in the hospital, her daughter was surrounded by her older brothers and other family members.

“Right now we’re just asking for more prayers for our sweet girl,” Murphy said. “She’s a tough one and has a long way to go, but she’s alive and that’s all this mommy cares about.”

Another “possible” shark bite Thursday prompted Florida officials in Nassau County, about 150 miles from Taylor County where Addison was attacked, to step up beach patrols over the July 4th holiday weekend, the New York Post reports.

The patrols consist of lifeguards who jet ski along the coast of beach towns and look out for sharks.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/florida-teen-addison-bethea-punched-shark-that-attacked-her-leg-father-says?source=articles&via=rss Florida teen Addison Bethea hit shark that attacked her leg, dad says

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