ROCKAWAY BEACH, New York (WABC) -- The 65-year-old woman who was bitten by a shark at a New York City beach has undergone five surgeries since the attack and will require more, her daughter said in a statement.
Tatyana Koltunyuk's recovery from the Aug. 7 shark bite will also take years of physical therapy and close medical monitoring, daughter Darya Koltunyuk said.
"Though the full impact of her injury is not yet known, it has left her with a permanent disability," Darya said in an online statement posted on GoFundMe to raise money for her mother's medical care.
Darya announced that her mother underwent five surgeries within only eight days. She is expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks.
On top of the surgeries, Darya says that her mother has a "permanent disability" and will face several years of intense physical therapy and medical monitoring, limiting her mobility.
Koltunyuk, who dreamt of a retirement filled with traveling and swimming in the ocean every day, was standing in the water when she felt the sharp pain. Fortunately NYPD officers responded to the scene just in time, where they were able to save her from bleeding out.
As Tatyana's life has completely changed, so has her lifestyle. She is no longer as independent as she was and will now need different mobility assistance devices and therapy.
Darya said that her mother has always showered people with love and empathy. She wants to give this same kind of compassion back to her mom.
Darya is determined to give her mother the comfortable retirement she longed for, and acknowledges that this will be a challenging journey for all involved.
She's requesting, on her mother's behalf, that the community help her family in the road ahead by showing support to their GoFundMe page. She says the page has raised nearly $38,000 so far.
Experts said Koltunyuk's bite was the most serious shark attack in New York waters in decades.
Shark sightings and minor bites have become more frequent in the region in recent years as the predators are drawn closer to shore by a growing population of the bait fish they feed on. At least 13 swimmers reported being bitten off the coast of Long Island in the past two summers, surpassing the total of reported bites throughout New York history prior to 2022. None of those injuries were considered serious.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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