Florida teen has devastating damage to her right leg after getting bitten by a shark

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida teen is facing a long road to recovery after getting bitten by a shark on June 30.

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According to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in a news release, Addison Bethea, 17, is recovering at their facilities following a shark attack off the coast of Keaton Beach on June 30. Bethea was scalloping when she was bitten by a 9-foot shark.

“The shark was aggressive and attacked her several times until her brother was able to physically separate the shark from his sister,” said TMH. Her brother, Rhett Willingham, is a firefighter and EMT in Taylor County.

Rhett along with other boaters were able to help Bethea. A tourniquet was applied after the attack to control the bleeding and she was airlifted to treatment, according to WFTV.

TMH said that Bethea had devastating damage to the soft tissue in her right leg from the attack. She had multiple procedures done with the most recent one on Wednesday where doctors amputated her right leg just above the knee.

When Bethea was first brought to the hospital, surgeons restored blood flow to her lower leg to build the blood vessels, said TMH. This helped preserve muscular tissue and skin of her lower leg and helped keep it alive for the latest procedure.

“Saving the tissue of the lower leg was paramount in today’s surgery even being possible,” her dad, Shane Bethea, said in a news release. “The surgeons and the medical staff can’t get enough praise from us for the wonderful care of our baby girl. We are so thankful that she ended up here at TMH.”

Bethea has a long road to recovery and will eventually be able to use a prosthesis for her lower right leg, TMH said.