An 11-year-old boy from Huntersville who lost part of his leg after surviving a bull shark attack off the coast of the Florida Keys opened up about the experience in an interview with Good Morning America Thursday morning.
In August, Jameson Reeder Jr. and his family were vacationing in the Florida Keys when they decided to snorkel in a reef off a boat. Jameson Jr. was swimming on his own with a pool noodle, when all of a sudden he was attacked by the shark.
“I am very sad that my foot is gone, but I’m happy to be alive,” Jameson told GMA in an exclusive interview.
His father, Jameson Sr., said the bite was devastating enough to take his life.
“The intensity and the ferocity of the bite was devastating,” said Jameson Sr. “This was a nine-foot bull shark, close to 500 pounds, thrashing a 70-pound, 10 year old boy around in the water, enough to take his life.”
Jameson Jr. survived and held onto a pool noodle while he waited for help to arrive. A faster boat that happened to be nearby took the injured boy and his mother back to shore. Ambulances were waiting for Jameson Jr. when he arrived back to shore where he and his mother were airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital.
Jameson Jr. underwent four surgeries to save his life, including an amputation just below his right knee.
“My last surgery, it was scary. But the other surgeries, I was very positive,” said Jameson Jr on GMA.
Mary Reeder, Jameson Jr.’s mother, praised her son’s strength through the process and recalled the moment she told her son he had lost his leg.
“He’s stronger than I could ever be after that. It’s just the positivity and his faith,” Reeder said. “He cried a little, but [we said] ‘We’re going to get you a cool new foot and you can do whatever you want to do.”
(WATCH BELOW: Shark attacks grandmother, grandson 10 feet away)