17-Year-Old Who Had Leg Amputated After Shark Attack Says Marine Life ‘Still Good People’

17-Year-Old Who Had Leg Amputated After Shark Attack Says Marine Life ‘Still Good People’
Paige Winter, 17, was attacked by a shark in North Carolina on May 2, 2019. (Prayers For Paige/GoFundMe)

The 17-year-old North Carolina girl who had to have one of her legs amputated after being attacked by a shark on June 2 said that she still respects marine life and wants others to as well.

Paige Winter was swimming at Atlantic Beach near Fort Macon Park when she was attacked by a shark. Her father Charlie Winter, a paramedic and firefighter, quickly attacked the shark, eventually causing it to leave the area.

“They were standing in waist-deep water and chatting and then Paige suddenly got pulled under,” family friend Brandon Bersch told Today. “As soon as Charlie realized what was happening, he jumped into action and began striking the shark on the nose. Charlie wouldn’t stop until it released his little girl. He lives for his children.”

Winter’s grandmother, Janet Winter, said in a Facebook post that Paige was saved by her dad. “Thank God our son was with her he said he punched the shark in the face 5 times before it let go. Wish we could be with them,” she wrote in response to a comment.

In another comment, Janet said Paige may need a “hand transplant in the future and several on the other.”

The City of Havelock Fire-Rescue Department said that the teen, her father, and others were in “deep water when the attack occurred.” Paige was rushed to the hospital, where her left leg was amputated above the knee.

Vidant Medical Center issued a statement saying Winter was recovering there.

“She is in good condition and receiving excellent care. Her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life. Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water. She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety,” it stated.

Paige also issued a statement thanking people for support.

“I would like to thank everyone for reaching out and helping me the last 24 hours as a result of the shark attack that occurred at Fort Macon on June 2. Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be okay,” she wrote.

“Thank you to the care team at Vidant Medical Center who is continuing to provide excellent care. I know I have a long road to recovery, which includes additional surgeries. I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse.”

The statements were all posted on a GoFundMe fundraising page that was started to raise money for Paige’s medical care.

Shortly after undergoing surgery, the teen spoke to her mother, Marcy Winter, who relayed to supporters through the page: “Paige is out of surgery and awake, she’s still pretty groggy but cracking jokes. She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people.”

Bersch, the family friend, told “Today” that Paige immediately expressed a favorable attitude towards sharks after waking up after surgery.

“Paige has more surgeries upcoming, but she’s really optimistic,” Bersch said. “As soon as Paige woke up at the hospital, she made a comment about how she doesn’t have animosity toward sharks and she still loves the sea.”