A 10-year-old girl nearly lost her foot during a harrowing shark attack in the waters of Florida’s Hobe Sound beach.
On November 27, Jasmine Carney was swimming just off the shore when the predator bit her at least four times. The young victim said that she “tried to stomp and kick,” but it “wasn’t letting go.”
Jasmine’s grandmother, Stephanie Carney, told PEOPLE that she heard her granddaughter scream, “Something bit me!” And as she rushed to the scene, she saw “quite a lot” of blood. Luckily, Jasmine was able to pull her leg free from the shark’s mouth on her own.
Lifeguards alerted EMS, and a medical helicopter transported the girl to Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is located in West Palm Beach, about 25 miles away from Hobe Sound.
The Shark Attack ‘Severed’ the Victim’s Foot ‘All the Way Down to the Bone’
Dr. Nir J Hus, a trauma surgeon at the center, said that Jasmine showed signs of “a classic shark bite.” And upon arrival, the 5th grader was covered in so much sand that he “couldn’t even see anything.”
The situation looked grim upon further examination. One of the shark’s teeth punctured a blood vessel that supplies the foot. And she couldn’t move two of her toes. As he looked closer, he also discovered that the foot was “literally cut in half.”
“All the muscle, the tendon, everything got severed all the way down to the bone,” he explained. “And the shark bit her in multiple locations on the foot — it wasn’t just one bite. I think he bit, let go, bit, let go, bit, and then let go …”
After a two-hour procedure, which included over 100 stitches, Hus was miraculously able to save Jasmine’s foot. And he believes that she will “be running in no time.”
“I think it’ll probably take another couple of months, and she’ll be back to normal,” he added. “She will have some nasty scars — there’s no way around that, but she’ll be back to normal.”
But most importantly, Hus, the rest of the hospital staff, and her grandmother are praising Jasmine for staying calm both during the shark attack and while dealing with the fallout.
“Usually, kids really freak out and she didn’t,” Hus continued. “She was smiling and happy.”
The shark attack survivor left the hospital on Dec. 1. And while she isn’t able to use her right foot yet, she has already returned to school with the help of a three-wheeled scooter.
And most importantly, Jasmine is feeling brave and proud to have survived such a terrifying ordeal.
“I fought a shark and won,” she shared with West Palm Beach station WPTV.