‘Keep your mind strong:’ Florida teen who lost leg in shark attack shares recovery story 1 year later

Addison Bethea was 17 when she was attacked by shark

ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida teen who lost her leg in a shark attack off the coast last year is sharing her story of recovery, hoping to inspire others.

Addison Bethea was 17 years old when she was attacked by a shark while scalloping off the Florida Panhandle last July. Her right leg was amputated above the knee.

Since then, she has learned to drive and attended her senior prom.

A teenage girl describes being attacked by a shark off Florida.

“You’ll be able to get through it, just keep your mind strong and that can be really hard but you can get through it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

According to investigators, a family member jumped in the water “and beat the shark” until Bethea was free.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

She was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, where she underwent several surgeries. The hospital said in a Facebook post the girl’s brother, who is a firefighter/EMT, fought off the shark and worked with other boaters to control the bleeding.

She said although it was a hard situation, her faith and support from everyone played a role in her recovery.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.