'I will be OK:' 17-year-old girl bitten by shark had leg amputated, hands damaged

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019
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A 17-year-old girl was bitten by a shark near Atlantic Beach on Sunday afternoon.

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. -- A 17-year-old girl was bitten by a shark near Atlantic Beach on Sunday afternoon.

Paige Winter, a high school student at New Bern High School, was swimming in the ocean at Fort Macon State Park when the shark bit her.

Her father immediately jumped into the water to save her.

His efforts paid off. Winters survived; her leg had to be amputated and she has damage to her hands, but she said, "I will be OK."

The incident happened before 12:30 p.m., park ranger Paul Terry told WCTI.

GoFundMe: Prayers for Paige

Winter was flown to Vidant Medical Center for treatment.

"Thank you to the care team at Vidant Medical Center who is continuing to provide excellent care," Winter said in a statement Monday. "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."

According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Marshal, she "sustained deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas."

Vidant Health released the following statement Monday:

"Vidant Health can confirm that Paige Winter is at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. recovering from a shark attack that occurred at approximately 12:20 p.m. on June 2, 2019 at Fort Macon.
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."

According to the GoFundMe, Paige's mother said she is out of surgery and cracking jokes.

There will be a fundraiser to help pay Paige's medical bills on Tuesday, June 4 at New Bern High School Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

Students will perform short plays and are asking for donations.