17-Year-Old Recounts Shark Attack

Paige Winter             
    Handout

Paige Winter Handout

Paige Winter was rushed to the hospital after she was attacked in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, on June 2.

Unprovoked shark attacks like this are rare.

When a 17-year-old North Carolina girl was attacked by a shark, her dad fought back, hitting the animal "with everything I could".

"I want people to see I'm doing alright and you know, I'm still going to do the stuff they can do".

She described what it was like during the attack.

Winter said he was just feet away from Paige in waist-deep water when he heard someone say, "shark".

Through it all, Paige is keeping a positive outlook.

"I think with this situation, I can transform it. into something good for me, and good for sharks, and good for the environment, too", Paige Winter said in a video message during a news conference at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

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Winter said the shark took Paige's leg, "but it didn't take her spirit".

"Sharks are still good people", Paige reiterates in her video message.

The 17-year-old had her left leg amputated at the knee and extensive injuries to her hands. Winter's doctors and her father, Charlie Winter, attributed her survival to a quick response and a confluence of factors that combined to give her a chance to live. He saw pink on the water and it was moving, so he dove in.

"I'm going to be able to walk, I'm going to be able to write", Winter says of her prognosis.

He said he grabbed his daughter and ran to shore - and kept telling her how much he loved her. It was a big shark. When I pulled her up a shark came up with her - it was a big shark and I immediately started to hit it.

A tourniquet was put on the teen's thigh, which helped save her life, said Dr. Eric Toschlog, chief of trauma and acute care surgery, at the news conference. She lost the ring and pinky fingers on her left hand.

"It looks like there was a knife taken to it", the plastic surgeon said.

Paige's father said he "couldn't be prouder".

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