A 10-year-old boy was attacked by a shark while snorkeling in Florida and needed part of his leg amputated to “save his life,” relatives said.
Jameson Reeder Jr. was confronted by the shark Saturday while vacationing in the Florida Keys along with his father, mother, two brothers and sister, his uncle wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.
“They were out on a boat snorkeling along a shallow reef when a very traumatic event occurred and my nephew Jameson Jr. was attacked,” Joshua Reeder posted Sunday, adding that the family believes an 8-foot bull shark bit the boy.
“They said the shark made the decision for him and wasn’t anything they could do to save it,” Reeder’s post continued. “But his life was spared. Thank you Yeshua/Jesus!!!”
Jameson was injured at Looe Key, state wildlife authorities told the Miami Herald. He was then airlifted to a hospital, where doctors had to amputate his leg just below the knee, Joshua Reeder said.
A day after the attack, the boy was out of surgery but learned the gruesome extent of his injuries, his uncle said.
“But yet he is still strong and in good spirits and will love and tell of this story to millions of people all over the world of how Jesus spared his life and saved him,” Joshua Reeder wrote in his post.
An online fundraiser set up on behalf of Jameson Jr. had eclipsed $34,000 as of midday Monday.
“Jameson is an amazingly strong young man,” the website reads. “He was able to get his family’s attention and hang on to a noodle float until the boat could get to him. God was watching out for him and has been in every detail. They could have lost their sweet boy, but Jameson knew Jesus was with him.”
Jameson’s “fearless faith in God carried him through,” according to the fundraiser.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission did not release details about the attack, but did confirm the incident, the Miami Herald reported.
A spokesman for the state agency told the newspaper he would only release additional details upon reaching Jameson’s father, according to the report.
While shark attacks are rare in the Florida Keys, four people have been bitten by sharks in Monroe County since April, including one woman whose leg was severely mangled, the Herald reported.
Messages seeking comment from Joshua and Jameson Reeder were not immediately returned midday Monday.