Young Boy Who Lost His Leg in Shark Attack Gets Awesome Shoutout From Pro Surfer

by Taylor Cunningham

An 11-year-old boy who lost part of his leg to a shark attack last month got a special message from a famous pro surfer who understands exactly what he’s going through.

On August 13, Jameson Reeder was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling in the Florida Keys. Since the attack, he has undergone four surgeries, including a partial amputation. And he’s spent a total of three weeks in the hospital.

Jameson also earned national attention for his harrowing incident, and it didn’t go unnoticed by pro surfer Bethany Hamilton.

Hamilton was a teenage surf pro who made headlines after losing her left arm during a shark attack in 2003. She eventually returned to pro surfing, and her journey back to her passion and career became a movie called Soul Surfer, which became Jameson’s favorite film.

When the now 32-year-old surfer heard what happened to Jameson Reeder, she recorded an uplifting video message from her home in Hawai’i and sent it his way.

“She talked about how she learned how to adapt, try hard things, and she still surfs,” his mother, Mary, told ABC News. She’s still a professional surfer.”

Eleven-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater also sent his well-wishes to Jameson.

Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton Invites Shark Attack Victim to Her Surf Camp on Hawai’i

During her message, Bethany Hamilton invited Jameson Reeder to her surf camp in the Aloha State. And he’s looking forward to attending. But before he learns how to ride the waves, he has one thing he wants to do—revisit the site of the attack so he can confront his fears.

That site was within Florida’s Looe Key reef, about five miles offshore. Jameson was swimming along a shallow portion of the reef with his mom, dad, siblings, and uncle when he “took a crushing blow below his knee,” by the 8-foot shark, according to a Facebook post.

To save his life, doctors had no choice but to amputate his left leg just below the knee.

“It was not operable from the damage the shark had caused. They said the shark made the decision for him and wasn’t anything they could do to save it. But his life was spared. Thank you Yeshua/Jesus!!!”

During his ABC interview, the young boy shared that he’s adjusting to his new life well. But he still has a long way to go before he’s recovered.

“I am very sad that my foot is gone,” Jameson admitted. “But I’m happy to be alive.”