Addison Bethea takes first steps after leg amputation from shark attack

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Addison Bethea takes first steps after leg amputation from shark attack

The courageous Florida teen who was attacked by a shark last week took her first steps in a Tallahassee hospital Thursday, after hav

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The courageous Florida teen who was attacked by a shark last week took her first steps in a Tallahassee hospital Thursday, after having her leg partially amputated.

Video posted by her family to Facebook showed Addison Bethea, 17, gingerly walking down a corridor in her hospital gown with the aid of a walker.

“Our girl took her first steps today and managed to make it all the way down the hallway!” her family wrote alongside the Facebook post on the “Fight Like Addison” page. “She is such a warrior, nothing is going to stop her from gaining back her life.”

The teen was looking for scallops in shallow Taylor County waters when a 9-foot shark clamped down on her right leg.

Bethea, 17, attempted to fight off the shark but was unable to release its grip.

“I knew with sharks that you’re supposed to punch them in the nose to get them off of you,” she told CNN last week from her hospital bed. “I couldn’t get around to punch it in the nose, so I just started socking it in the face and poked its eyes.”

Addison Bethea
Addison Bethea took her first steps since the shark attack.
CNN

Her EMT brother, Rhett Willingham, 22, eventually managed to fight the predator off and applied a tourniquet after loading her into a stranger’s passing boat.

Bethea underwent several surgeries but doctors were unable to save her leg below the knee.

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Hospital surgeons said she lost her quadriceps in the attack and that the “bite also caused massive nerve and vascular damage.”

Addison Bethea
Addison Bethea fought back when the shark bit down.
Facebook/Addison Bethea
Addison Bethea
Addison Bethea was hunting for scallops in shallow water when the shark attacked her.
Facebook/Addison Bethea

Bethea’s family has marveled at her bravery during the ordeal and said she is “embracing” the challenges ahead of her.

“It’s going to make it a lot easier in the end,” Bethea said last week ahead of the surgery.

Despite the attack, the teen said she plans to head back into her local waters once fully recovered.

A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $60,000 to help Bethea and her family with medical expenses.

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