TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) – A teenage girl is in serious but stable condition after being bitten by a large shark on Thursday while scalloping near Keaton Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) confirmed in a social media statement that a juvenile “had suffered a shark bite while scalping near Grassy Island in water approximately five feet deep.”
READ MORE: Pasco County goes into quarantine after discovery of an invasive giant African land snail
Although the shark type has not been established, TCSO said it was about 9 feet long.
“A relative reportedly jumped into the water and hit the shark until the boy was free,” TCSO said.
According to a Facebook post from the teen’s father, the girl was bitten twice and tried to “stick it in the eye and punch it,” but the shark wouldn’t let go of its grip.
The girl’s brother, a firefighter, was with her and fought the shark, pulling her away and transferring her into a nearby boat. The brother also put a tourniquet on her leg and made sure she stayed awake while she was taken back to Keaton Beach, “ultimately saving her life,” the father said.
The girl was flown to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and underwent emergency surgery, her father wrote.
She suffered “unreal damage” to her thigh and “the nerve on the back of the thigh was severely damaged,” he said.
READ MORE: CDC Investigating Listeria Outbreak Linked To Big Olaf Creamery Brand Ice Cream
“The doctors are unsure about the condition of the leg at the moment and want to look at it day by day to see what needs to be done,” he added.
The girl woke up and was able to communicate with her family by typing on her phone, her father said, adding “she was in a good mood and joked about beating the shark.”
“The first thing she asked for was a Wendy’s Frosty,” he said. “She’s been through more than I could have ever imagined, but she’s a trooper. Please pray for her and the difficulty of her days ahead. She’s far from out of the woods, but she’s alive and that’s the most important thing for us.”
The teen will undergo a second surgery Saturday morning, “to repair any nerve damage and also to clean out any dead tissue in her thigh from the shark attack,” her father said in an updated Facebook post.
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, where the girl is recovering, said in a statement Saturday’s surgery would also serve to “evaluate the extent of damage to her leg and determine what treatment options are available with the goal of saving her leg.” .”
“Right now we are dealing with every issue on a day-to-day basis, but the long-term prospects for her leg are not good,” her father wrote. “She’s a trooper, but she has an extremely long road ahead mentally and physically.”
MORE NEWS: Local law enforcement team works together to protect boaters before July 4th
The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.