SATELLITE Beach, Fla. – Putting on goggles and a snorkel, Addison Bethea was browsing for scallops in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico when the 9-foot shark bumped into her, then bit her proper calf.
The startled 17-year-previous poked the shark’s eyes and grabbed its gills, and the toothy predator unveiled her leg.
But then the shark sank its jaws into her appropriate thigh. Terrified, she started screaming for assist — “it held biting me and biting me, and then I experimented with to pry it off with my hands and my fingers,” she recalled.
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Bethea has endured five surgeries at Tallahassee Memorial Health care considering the fact that the June 30 shark assault, and medical doctors amputated her mangled right leg just above her knee. Now, her loved ones is wanting to her foreseeable future, which include weeks of rehabilitation and finding out how to walk making use of a prosthetic leg.
“Addison, to be sincere with you, the variety of bite she sustained — that is usually not a survivable chunk,” said her mother, Satellite Beach front resident Michelle Murphy.
“As a father or mother, even while it’s overpowering that she experienced to have a leg amputation, I’m just grateful that she’s alive and nutritious,” Murphy reported.
“She’s received a prolonged road forward. But she’s also younger, and she’s really balanced and she’s an athlete. So I consider heading forward, she’s likely to find her intent with this. And as a relatives, we’re all seriously supportive of her,” she mentioned.
Murphy delivers massage therapy portion-time at Shades Salon in Satellite Seashore. She has spent most of her time in Tallahassee since the June 30 shark assault, and she returns residence just about every couple times to aid care for her mom and pets.
Now, Shades Salon is teaming up with Extended Doggers to perform a Saturday fundraising event that includes a cornhole tournament to support defray the family’s clinical charges.
“All of us that do the job at Shades are all moms. So it was devastating to us to even test and comprehend what she’s heading by means of — I could not even consider,” Shades Salon co-operator Niki Perkins claimed.
“I’ve talked to her on a pair situations, and it is just these types of highs and lows. You know, ‘We have a good day.’ And then, a poor working day,” Perkins said.
“I truly feel for her, just getting the mom that’s making an attempt to preserve Addison’s spirits up and favourable. It sounds like she’s carrying out a truly superior work of it, and it appears like Addison is absolutely progressing. So we’re all just listed here pulling for her,” she said.
A GoFundMe web page to defray the family’s healthcare charges experienced generated more than $76,000 by Monday night time.
Bethea is a cheerleader and tennis participant at Taylor County High in Perry. She suffered her shark bite whilst scalloping in 5 to 6 ft of drinking water near Grassy Island offshore from Keaton Seashore, in Florida’s sparsely populated Huge Bend region.
The shark calculated about 9 ft lengthy, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Place of work noted. The species was undetermined.
Addison Bethea’s brother punched the shark
Bethea’s brother, Rhett Willingham, is a 2017 Satellite Superior graduate who attended Jap Florida Point out College’s hearth teaching academy and crisis clinical technician plan. He now performs as a firefighter-EMT for Taylor County Fireplace Rescue.
Willingham was swimming close to Bethea when the shark attacked with no warning.
“I heard her yelp like one thing terrified her, nearly like a stingray or anything like that. I sat up and I didn’t see her, and I was like, ‘Oh, she need to be finding a scallop’ — and then she shot out of the water and started off screaming,” Willingham recalled.
“I noticed her and the shark — and then the blood — and then I just swam about there,” he stated.
Willingham punched the shark frequently, then grabbed it by a gill and kneed it in the jaw. The shark eventually unlatched its jaws from Bethea’s thigh.
A Very good Samaritan also read Bethea’s screams, and he motored his boat to select her and Willingham out of the drinking water. They fashioned a rope into a tourniquet all-around her mutilated leg to support staunch blood decline, and they rushed her to Keaton Beach front. There, a health care helicopter airlifted her to Tallahassee.
The TMH trauma team stabilized Bethea, and a surgeon carried out emergency surgical procedures on “devastating injury to the delicate tissue in her ideal leg,” a clinic press launch claimed. She missing her quadriceps, and she sustained significant nerve and vascular damages.
Ultimately, surgeons amputated her reduced leg on July 6.
“Everything happens for a cause. Naturally, it kind of sucks at first as soon as you recognize you have bought to get it amputated,” Bethea mentioned during a Monday mobile phone interview from the clinic.
“I’m likely to learn how to are living my lifetime with it,” she mentioned.
Shark bite fundraiser
Long Doggers in Satellite Seashore will host a Saturday afternoon fundraising event for shark bite target Addison Bethea.
On Friday, Shades Salon personnel will provide raffle tickets and T-shirts and promote the event from 4 to 7 p.m. at the cafe. The address is 1201 S. Patrick Travel.
The fundraiser will take place from midday to 5 p.m. Saturday, showcasing a cornhole match that commences at 1 p.m. Cornhole registration expenditures $20.
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