CLEARWATER (FOX13) - At first glance, you wouldn't see the similarities between Tiffany Johnson and Winter the dolphin.
"Winter and I share the same type of story." explained Johnson. "We both lost limbs in the ocean."
A year ago while on a cruise with her husband, Tiffany was attacked by a shark while swimming off the coast of Nassau. "I felt like I had bumped into something and when I turned to look I was face-to-face with the shark, and he had my whole arm in his mouth," she remembers.
Johnson survived the attack but lost her arm. She has worn a prosthetic arm ever since. It was a traumatic time for the Johnson family, especially for their three young children. "My prosthesis said why don't you go ahead and have them watch Dolphin's Tale, and that can help relate."
The family followed the advice. Watching Winter overcome the loss of her tail and learning to use her prosthetic helped the Johnson children understand the process of healing. On Sunday, the family met Winter and Hope in real life.
The children fed them fish, and learned about Winter's prosthetic and her specially named gel. The special silicone gel sleeve developed for Winter is now making prosthetic limbs more comfortable for human and animal amputees. The company that built Winter's prosthetic tail, and created Winter's Gel is the same company that designed Tiffany's arm.
"The movie was amazing, and they just connected with it so well. I think this will be an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives."