Shark attack sees boy, 11, lose leg but brave lad wants to get back in ocean

A brave 11-year-old boy who lost part of his leg in a shark attack wants to get back into the ocean as soon as possible.

Jameson Reeder, from Huntersville in North Carolina, was on a family holiday in Florida Keys snorkelling among coral reefs when he encountered a 9ft bull shark last month.

His parents were in the back of their boat when they heard their petrified son screaming, but managed to drag him away from the shark and pull him back into the boat.

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A woman from another boat then swam over to administer basic medical assistance before Jameson was transported by another faster nearby boat to the mainland, where he was airlifted to a children's hospital in Miami and immediately taken into the operating theatre.

Following four surgeries and three weeks in hospital, during which time he celebrated his birthday there with family and friends, Jameson was allowed to return home, where he has been getting around in a wheelchair and learning to use a walker.

He will require further operations in the near future and carries a cuddly toy called "Hedgie" around with him at all times to help alleviate the stinging pains he often feels in his leg.

"When I squeeze, the pain goes away," he explained to ABC News.

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But he is now determined to be fitted with a prosthetic limb, so he can get back in the water, having already told his parents that he wants to face his fears by returning to the exact reef where he came close to losing his life.

Speaking to ABC News, Jameson said: "I want to get my prosthetic and get back in the ocean. I'm happy to be alive because a 9ft bull shark should have taken me down."

Reliving the moment she thought she was going to lose her son, mum Mary Reeder said: "We were in the back of the boat and we just heard Jameson start screaming. He was also waving his arms.

"I didn't see anything in the water. I just saw him screaming for us to get to him, but he's stronger than I could ever be after that because of his positivity and faith."

His father – Jameson Senior – is a pastor and believes his son's survival was a miracle.

"We shouldn't have our son," he said. "He should not be alive.

"What he's gone through and the fact that he is still here is just a reminder of how short and fragile life is."


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