South Carolina

Teen attacked by shark had 14-hour surgery to rebuild her hands, NC doctors say

The high school student attacked by a shark on a North Carolina beach continues to recover, doctors say, and just had a 14-hour operation on her hands.

A shark attacked 17-year-old Paige Winter last weekend as she was in the water at Fort Macon State Park, according to the family, and doctors had to amputate her leg.

She’s been noted for her good spirits since the attack, spreading the word that “sharks are still good people.”

“Paige continues to do extremely well. On June 6, 2019, she underwent an extensive, reconstructive surgery on her hands. The surgery took nearly 14 hours to complete. She is to undergo at least one additional surgery on her hands next week,” her surgeon, Dr. Eric Toschlog, said in a statement released by Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

The hospital also shared a statement from the New Bern teen: “I want to thank everyone for all of the support and encouragement that is really helping me stay positive while I’m getting better. It really means a lot!

World Oceans Day is June 8 and I’d like to ask everyone to get involved however they can to protect and preserve our oceans and all the life in it. I can’t wait to thank you guys and join you in saving the environment. #SharksAreStillGoodPeople,” she said in the written statement.

“Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be okay,” Winter, a junior at New Bern High School, said in an earlier statement.

The rare North Carolina shark attack has drawn national attention, with many news outlets discussing how her father, a firefighter, paramedic and retired Marine, punched the shark to fight it off, the Charlotte Observer reports.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.