The father of a Florida teen who lost part of her leg in a harrowing shark attack said she bravely attempted to fight off the monster — even landing a punch.
“She’s been through more than I could ever imagine but she is being a trooper,” Shane Bethea said of his daughter, Addison Bethea, on Facebook.
“Please pray for her and the difficulty of her days ahead.”
The shaken dad said Addison was scalloping at Keaton Beach in Taylor County in shallow waters when the 9-foot predator suddenly attacked.
“The shark bit her once and then attacked her again on her right thigh,” he wrote. “She tried poking it in the eyes and punching it but it would not turn loose.”
Her brother Rhett then gallantly stepped in to help, battering the shark until it finally loosened its grip, Bethea wrote.
The brave brother then dragged his suffering sibling into the boat of a passing stranger.
“Rhett put a tourniquet on her leg to minimize blood loss to the massive injury and kept her awake, ultimately saving her life,” he wrote.
Bethea was then airlifted to a Tallahassee hospital, where she now faces a long road to recovery.
“The nerve on the back of her thigh was damaged severely,” Bethea said. “There is an unreal amount of damage to her thigh area. The doctors are unsure at this point as to the condition of the leg and want to take it day by day to see what will have to be done.”
Addison was sedated until Friday morning when she regained consciousness and communicated with her parents through her phone — and quickly requested a Wendy’s frosty, Bethea said.
“She was in good spirits and cracking jokes about beating up the shark,” he said. “She isn’t out of the woods by any stretch, but she is alive and that’s what’s most important to us. We appreciate all of the support and Addison wanted me to tell you thank you as well.”
Addison’s mother, Michelle Murphy, also posted about her daughter’s terrifying ordeal on Facebook.
“She’s a tough cookie and she has a long road ahead of her but she’s alive and that’s all this mama cares about,” she said, adding that Addison is surrounded by friends and family at her bedside.