Florida teen attacked by shark takes first steps after having leg amputated, family says

A Florida teenager who fought off a shark that attacked her in Taylor County had to have her leg partially amputated in the days that followed.  On Thursday, Addison Bethea, 17, took her first steps since the procedure.

Bethea,of Perry, Florida, was scalloping with her brother, Rhett, off the coast of Keaton Beach when she felt something tap her leg. Just seconds later, she was being pulled underwater by an estimated 9-foot shark. 

"She was fighting the shark. She tried to pull it off of her leg with her bare hands," her mother told FOX 35 News. "She’s got bite marks on her hand."

Addison is being treated at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare where she has undergone several surgeries. 

Addison Bethea shark attack

Addison Bethea, 17, was attacked by a shark and had to have her leg partially amputated.


A photo of Addison Bethea, 17, of Perry, Fla.  (Family of Addison Bethea)

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"She suffered devastating injury to her upper right leg, including the loss of her quadriceps, the four muscles in the front of the thigh that work together to keep the kneecap stable and allow for lower leg extension. The bite also caused massive nerve and vascular damage," the hospital wrote on Facebook.

The hospital said the injuries were so extensive that it required amputation just above the right knee. The hospital also said that Addison has a long road to recovery that will require extensive rehabilitation, but her family said she is staying upbeat and strong.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Addison and her family with medical expenses. As of Tuesday morning, it has raised over $25,000.