ORLANDO — A 17-year-old Florida girl who was attacked by a 9-foot shark last week learned she will have her leg amputated Tuesday.
Addison Bethea, of Perry, was scalloping Thursday with her brother in Keaton Beach — in Taylor County — when a shark pulled her underwater, according to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
The shark bit Addison’s upper right leg, causing her to lose her quadriceps, the hospital said.
“The bite also caused massive nerve and vascular damage,” Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare said in a post. “The injuries to Addison’s leg are so extensive that they will require amputation just above the right knee, which will take place during surgery on Tuesday.”
Surgeons were able to restore blood flow to Addison’s leg by rebuilding the blood vessels but due to the nature of the injury surgeons will have to amputate the teen’s leg just above the knee — Addison is a school cheerleader and tennis player.
“This is the best-case scenario for Addison, and the best option to get her back to the most normal life possible,” Addison’s mother, Michelle, of Satellite Beach, Florida, said. “Addison got a little emotional today when we told her about the amputation,” her mother said, “but she has accepted it, and she knows this is her best path forward. She’s embracing it and trying to keep a positive outlook.”
A GoFundMe page was started to help the family with expenses. The fund has a goal of $40,000 and reached more than $28,800 by Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, another possible shark attack occurred shortly before noon in New Smyrna Beach when a 28-year-old male surfer was bitten on his foot, according to Volusia County Beach Safety. The man, whose injuries were not life threatening, was driven to the hospital by a friend.