A 17-year-old girl has spoken out after a shark bit her leg off several weeks ago near a North Carolina beach.
Paige Winter was swimming with her father at Fort Macon State Park when she went below the surface of the water, said Charlie Winter, her dad.
“I went straight to where the pink was and I dove under and I grabbed her,” he told CBS News last week. “When I pulled her up a shark came up with her—it was a big shark and I immediately started to hit it. I hit it with everything I could and it let go.”
Winter, meanwhile, said in a video provided by Vidant Medical Center on June 14, that she “is alright” after the attack.
“I am still going to do all of the stuff they can do—I am going to be able to walk, I am going to be able to write. I am still the same old Paige,” she said, according to Inside Edition. “When I was in that water, I was praying. I was like, ‘I am 17, I got so much to do.’”
In the attack, she lost part of her left leg and several fingers.
“I think with this situation I can transform it. It isn’t something like, ‘Oh, how tragic, a 17-year-old lost a leg.’ No, a 17-year-old lost a leg and we’re poppin’,” she said in the video.
And a few days after the attack and amputation, she said in a statement, “although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be okay.”
“Thank you to the care team at Vidant Medical Center who is continuing to provide excellent care. I know I have a long road to recovery, which includes additional surgeries. I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse.”
A witness described the situation when Paige was attacked. “All of a sudden, everyone started screaming, and I looked to my left and they were rushing towards this little girl. She looked little but she’s actually 17,” Lacy Whorton told WRAL. “And it looked like she was belly-crawling on the beach and officials were running towards her and whistles were blowing and everyone was screaming and they quickly got everybody out of the water,” she said.
Dr. Thomas Smiley, of Granite Bay, California, was attacked by a shark about 180 feet from the shore of the Kaanapali Shores Resort, reported Hawaii News Now.
First responders pulled him from the water, but they couldn’t resuscitate him.
Granite Bay’s Dr. Thomas Smiley killed in Maui shark attack. He leaves behind a wife, 3 children, and 6 grandchildren. pic.twitter.com/ln9D052EvW
— stevelarge (@largesteven) May 27, 2019
A witness said that when they pulled him and began CPR, they saw that he was missing part of his leg, KTLA reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“As we got closer, I saw some blood on his stomach and then I got looking a little bit more, and his wrist—it looked like the skin on his wrist was just torn off,” witness Allison Keller said. “And then I got looking closer, and his entire left leg from his knee down was just missing.”
Smiley leaves behind his wife, three children, and grandchildren.
Longtime friend Gary Taxera told the news outlet, “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time doing something in a place he loved.”