A North Carolina teenager who survived a shark attack received a personal video message from the actor who plays “Iron Man.”
Robert Downey Jr. in an Instagram post on Tuesday called 17-year-old Paige Winter a hero.
“This is a heroic story of resilience,” the actor told the teenager in a video message, which had 5.3 million views as of the afternoon.
Winter lost part of her leg after she was attacked June 2 off the coast of Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina, The News & Observer has reported. The family says the teenager’s dad, Charlie, punched the shark during the encounter.
Winter, an animal lover, has spoken about her respect for ocean creatures.
In Downey’s video message, he asked the girl to represent North Carolina as part of the Footprint Coalition, an organization that plans to use “advanced technologies for the good of the environment,” according to Variety.
“You’re not alone,” Downey told the teenager in his Instagram video. “But not just because of folks who’ve had similar stuff happen. But also because of your interest in sustainability and preservation of our oceans and marine life and all that stuff.”
Winter is an “Iron Man” fan and first saw the surprise video “during an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts,” the outlet reported.