Ga. Southern student recovering from shark bite - KMSP-TV

Ga. Southern student recovering from shark bite

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A metro area teen is home recovering after a shark attacked her off a beach in Jacksonville, Fla.

Georgia Southern student Colleen Malone says she was body surfing with friends last Tuesday when the shark showed up.

The 19-year-old said she was standing in about four feet of water about 40 feet out in murky water when she saw two fins from what she estimated to be a 3-feet long bull shark. She said she starting swimming away.

"Looked back on my back and saw it come out of the water and bite my foot," Malone said. "My mind was completely like -- I didn't even -- I wasn't thinking. Just my instincts kicked in and I just pulled my foot away and swam for my life."

Colleen said that she realized she had been bitten by a shark when she got on land and saw blood.

"I pulled my foot out of the water to see if I was OK because I thought my middle toe was missing, but it wasn't missing  -- thank goodness -- but there were gashes in my foot," Malone said.

She spent several days at a Jacksonville hospital, where doctors stitched her up with 50 stitches.  She said that she suffered no major damage.

"I'm very confident with physical therapy, since there's no tendons, or cartilage damage, no bone damage which is actually a miracle, I mean, there's so many blessings in how much worse it could have been," said Terry Malone, Colleen's mother.

Colleen says she will get IV-antibiotics treatment every day for the next two weeks.

Colleen is taking the ensuing "shark bait" and "tasty toes" jokes in stride. She said that she won't let the incident stop her from returning to the water.

A shark bite specialist from the University of Florida has contacted her to learn more the shark attack.

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