‘I didn’t see it coming,” Hunter Treschl said of the shark that attacked him off Oak Island on Sunday. But, in a sense, he was also talking about the change that comes to all who survive unexpected, debilitating injury whether it be in a car accident, a bad fall, a stroke or some other calamity.
The 16-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colorado, came out of the attack without his left arm, but he and his positive spirit survived.
“I’ve lost my arm obviously, so I have kind of 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 kind of just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it,” he said from his bed at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. “Out of those two, there’s really only one that I would choose to do and that’s the first – to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
Hunter’s courage in the face of a horrifying experience and a lifelong disability has inspired many. Videos released by the hospital captured him expressing a perspective and resolve beyond his years and rare at any age.
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“I’ve gotten a massive amount of messages from people all over who’ve wished me well,” he said.
Hunter’s response to his loss has shown the strength of his mind and heart. He has provided the world with a stirring example of how to go forward when life is terribly unfair. Ultimately what matters after suffering from what one didn’t see coming is what Hunter now does see coming – a strong and noble effort “to live a normal life.”