You might think that, while fishing for lobsters, the biggest threat that 15-year-old Lucas Cruz would see is a rogue claw or maybe a bad sunburn. However, when Cruz went to reach for a crustacean scuttling across the ocean floor, he met a much larger opponent. Face to face with a 500-pound bull shark, the teen lost 70 percent of his blood volume in the attack.
Prior to the shark attack, Cruz was enjoying his time during a family vacation to Miami, Florida to celebrate his birthday. Like any young teenager, Cruz was probably just happy to enjoy a final summer getaway before hitting the books. Determined to win his family a lobster dinner, the swimmer probably never noticed the bull shark quickly advancing towards him.
“I kind of tore off from to go get the lobster,” Cruz told Fox 8. “And as I got the lobster and as I was swimming back to them to put it in the bag, I felt the shark bite me.”
However, as the teenager described, the shark attack didn’t feel like a shark attack.
“It doesn’t feel anything like what you would think,” the teenager shared. “I thought I got hit by a boat. But then I looked above the water and realized there’s no boat near us or near anybody in the water. So then I just realized it was a shark after that.”
The bull shark bit down on both of Cruz’s legs, causing significant damage and rapid blood loss.
Shark Attack Victim Reaches Hospital Just in Time, According to Doctor
As Cruz and his family are fully aware, the brutal shark attack could very well have become fatal if the teen lost any more of his blood volume. Thankfully, though, the team at the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America in Augusta, Georgia were able to stop the bleeding and stabilize the young patient before it was too late. Cruz spent a total of 11 days in the team’s care, undergoing multiple surgical procedures. According to Dr. Rizal Lim, the nature of the shark bite also aided in Cruz’s survival.
“He was definitely showing signs of blood loss,” Lim reported. “Luckily, most of the bleeding was from muscle. You know, muscle can bleed, obviously, quite a bit.”
Because the majority of the blood loss came from Cruz’s muscle mass, his vital organs were still able to function properly even with the devastating injury.
While his prognosis is optimistic, Cruz still has a long recovery ahead of him with possible skin and soft tissue reconstruction in the near future. However, he already seems to be gaining back his strength.
“The doctors told me today that I could start putting pressure on my legs, so that’s good,” the shark attack victim shared.
“The wounds are all closed from what I’ve seen. It’s getting a lot better.”