A 52-year-old southern California mom who was attacked by a shark over Memorial Day Weekend is smiling through her recovery.
Maria Korcsmaros was training for a triathlon at Corona del Mar State beach in Newport Beach, California, on May 29 when she was attacked by a shark and sustained a bite wound that extended from her upper torso to her pelvis, KTLA reports.
Dr. Philip Rotter, who treated Korcsmaros at the Orange County Global Medical Center, told MyNewsLA that the wound was “very obviously [from] a mouth. You can see individual marks from individual teeth.”
The size of the bite suggests that the shark who attacked the mother of three was over 10 feet long, and most likely a great white, Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, told the Associated Press.
Hospital officials said Korcsmaros was swimming about 1.5 miles off of the coast when she was attacked. Lifeguards used a boat to pull the bleeding woman, who had sustained multiple rib fractures and a pierced lung from the water. She was then taken to Orange County Global Medical Center, where she underwent surgery.
Doctors said the personal trainer’s fitness level might have saved her life.
“She had significant open wounds those are wounds would have bled a lot, and she was able to tread water and hold her own until help arrived,” Dr. Philip Rotter told KTLA. “That’s pretty remarkable.”
Korcsmaros can be seen smiling in her hospital bed in a photo released Friday.
Last year saw a record-breaking number of shark attacks in the United States, with a total of 98 unprovoked shark attacks in 2015. According to George Burgess, director of the international Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, this year could bring a new record as shark populations recover from the historic lows seen in the 1990s. “We should have more bites this year than last,” he told Reuters.