'I will be OK': 17-year-old girl bitten by shark in North Carolina had leg amputated, hands damaged

ATLANTIC BEACH, North Carolina -- A 17-year-old girl is speaking out after she was bitten by a shark near Atlantic Beach in North Carolina Sunday afternoon.

Paige Winter, a high school student at New Bern High School, was swimming in the ocean at Fort Macon State Park when the shark attacked.

Her father immediately jumped into the water to save her.

His efforts paid off, as Winters survived. But her leg had to be amputated, and she has damage to her hands.

"I will be OK," she said in a statement. "Thank you to the care team at Vidant Medical Center who is continuing to provide excellent care. I know I have a long road to recovery, which includes additional surgeries. I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse."

The incident happened before 12:30 p.m., park ranger Paul Terry told WCTI.

Winter was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center for treatment. According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Marshal, she "sustained deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas."

Vidant Health released the following statement Monday:

"Vidant Health can confirm that Paige Winter is at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. recovering from a shark attack that occurred at approximately 12:20 p.m. on June 2, 2019 at Fort Macon.
She is in good condition and receiving excellent care. Her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life.
Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water. She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."


According to a GoFundMe, Paige's mother said she is out of surgery and cracking jokes.

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