16-Year-Old North Carolina Shark Attack Victim Leaves Hospital: I'm Going to 'Try to Fight and Live a Normal Life'
The teenager was bitten by a shark just 90 minutes after a 12-year-old was also attacked nearby
Hunter Treschl, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was on vacation with his family when he was attacked on a beach in Oak Island, North Carolina, a town about 30 miles from Wilmington.
In comments released by his family on Wednesday, the teen said that he felt the shark bite his leg, “and then I saw it had attacked my arm because it was out of the water a little bit.”
Treschl knows that recovery will take time, but he is determined to get through it.
“I’ve lost my arm obviously, so I have two options: I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don’t have an arm, or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it,” he added. “Out of those two, there’s really only one that I would actually choose, and that’s to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
Treschl told his hometown newspaper, The Gazette, that he’s going to work on relearning how to write with his right hand.
“School s coming up, so I gotta figure that out, Hunter, who will enter his junior year at Thomas MacLaren School, said. “I m confident that I ll be able to do it.”
“You don t realize how difficult everyday tasks are, like opening a bag of chips,” he added. “It kind of makes you feel for those who don t have that same ability and I want to help them however I can. It s a very eye-opening experience.”
The teen plans to go to Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center to be fitted for a prosthetic arm.
A family friend, Karanoelle Walter, has started a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical bills.
Twelve-year-old Kiersten Yow of Archdale, North Carolina, was the other shark attack victim on Sunday in Oak Island.
Yow had her left arm amputated below the elbow when she was bitten by a shark. She also might lose her left leg, Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace said in a Facebook post.
“Please keep this girl and her family in your prayers,” Wallace wrote.
Yow is also being treated at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Hospital officials credit the quick reaction from bystanders who helped save the teens’ lives.
Several calls were placed to 911 after the shark attacks. The first attack was called in at 4:12 p.m., and the second was called in around 5:30 p.m, according to WGHP Fox 8.
“We need an ambulance now!” one woman shouted during a call to 911.
“His arm is gone!” another woman yelled. “There is serious bleeding!”
This is the third shark bite incident that has been reported in Brunswick county in recent days. Another 13-year-old was reportedly injured in a possible shark attack Thursday in Ocean Isle Beach, according to WECT.