Shark attack victim Addison Bethea reaches new milestone in her recovery
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -Taking steps in a new direction, a Taylor County teen continues to make strides in her recovery nearly three months after a shark attack caused her to lose her left leg.
That attack happened just off Keaton Beach while Addison Bethea was scalloping alongside her brother, Rhett Willingham…
After several hospital stays and continued therapy, Bethea has finally received her prosthetic.
“My daughter should not be alive right now by medical standards and I know that,” said Addison’s mother Michelle Murphy just days after the attack.
Perry native, Addison Bethea started her independence day weekend just like any other but she’d soon find out her life would change as she knew it.
“I’ve always been told that something can happen just like that and this was definitely that situation,” said shark attack victim Addison Bethea.
Those were the words of Bethea just three days after a 9-foot-long shark latched onto her right thigh causing it to be amputated.
“I heard her like almost yelp and I turned around to see what was going on because something scared her and she was underwater when she came back up there was blood all around her and I saw the shark,” Addison said.
Four surgeries later, 37 days spent at Tallahassee memorial healthcare and continued physical therapy she’s finally on the move.
“I’ve got to do a lot of things that I used to do like driving around and seeing my friends. I started school this week so that’s really fun,” Addison expressed.
Although she’s looking forward to what’s next, Addison shared with me on Wednesday some of the challenges she’s faced so far with her prosthetic leg.
“Just like getting into the leg, it’s still shrinking a lot with ace wrap and I have to figure out what works best when it comes to getting in the leg or the shrinkage sometimes after I take it off it swells back up,” Addison said.
Her father, Shane Bethea, was by her side every step of the way.
“It’s difficult watching her go through the stuff but it’s great to be able to see the progress and see the smiles on her face as she does things she could so that’s been great,” said Addison’s father, Shane Bethea.
Addison encouraged anyone struggling to keep trying.
“I would just like to keep trying and push through whatever you’re going through,” she said.
As she gets settled into her new normal she said next weekend is homecoming and she’s hoping to walk across the field with a nomination for her senior year and maybe even end up with a crown.
A GoFundMe has been created to help Addison and her family with medical bills and that can be found here.
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