Atlantic Beach, N.C. -- A 17-year-old who wasover the weekend says she had a leg amputated. High school junior Paige Winter issued a statement Monday through Vidant Medical Center in Greenville thanking people for helping her following the attack at Fort Macon State Park on Sunday.
Winter said while she has extensive injuries, including damage to her hands, "I will be okay." She is recovering at Vidant and said she will require more surgeries. She said she would continue to stay positive and thankful that it wasn't worse.
In a statement on a GoFundMe page, Winter's family thanked "the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life." The teen's grandmother wrote in a Facebook post that the girl's father, Charlie Winter, "said he punched the shark in the face 5 times before it let go."
The hospital describes the teen as "an unwavering advocate" for marine life, and says Winter "wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."
Last week, a California man died after being attacked by a shark while swimming in Hawaii. A witness said he was missing a leg when he was pulled ashore.
Last month, a cluster of massive great white sharks – some of which researchers have been tracking for more than a decade – gathered about 20 miles off the coast of the Carolinas.