Lindsay Bruns, 35, was airlifted to a hospital to undergo reconstructive surgery following the vicious thrashing, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser.
Ms Bruns was out on a boat with her family in Sawyer Key, south of Florida, on 29 June. She jumped into the waters for a swim when her husband Luke Bruns suddently saw nothing but blood, according to The Miami Herald.
He jumped into the water and got her back on the boat, finding her leg “mangled”, the GoFundMe page stated. The husband applied pressure to her wound to stop further bleeding and they began heading back to land – a boat ride that lasted around 20 minutes.
Once back at shore, the family met emergency services. Monroe County Fire Rescue, the agency responding to the incident, said in a statement that Ms Bruns had a “large laceration” on her leg.
She had 11 blood transfusions and three surgeries, according to The Herald.
Monroe County Fire Rescue said that “the Miami hospital confirmed that the patient was bitten by a shark based on the laceration”.
Mr Bruns told WPLG that their daughters, aged seven and five, “were bawling” during the attack.
“They were screaming, they saw it all. It was very traumatic,” he said. “Once we got on the boat going, I told them ‘girls, you need to pray for momma’.”
The Bruns family live in Flower Mound, Texas, but they visit the Keys annually. Ms Bruns is expected to fully recover.
“It’s a miracle. It’s crazy that things like that happen,” Mr Bruns told WPLG. “It really puts things into perspective for you.”
Mr Bruns said in an email to FLKeysNews.com/Miami Herald on Wednesday that “the trauma team is hopeful for a full recovery” and that they’ve “reconstructed all of her muscle and tissue on her leg.”
“We are now just waiting to see if it all survives. So far it is looking good.“
While it remains unclear what type of shark was responsible for the attack, the waters in the area is populated by bull sharks, lemon sharks, giant hammerhead sharks, and tiger sharks, with great white sharks possibly present in the area but which can usually be found further north at this time of year, Newsweek noted.
While bull sharks and tiger sharks are known for being aggressive, attacks tend to not occur unprovoked. Shark attacks as a whole are rare in the Keys.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) incident report was released almost a week after the 29 June incident.
FWC Officer Christopher Boley wrote in the report that Ms Bruns’ wound “extended from the top of her hip to just above her knee”.
“It appeared to be from a serrated impact, and there were puncture marks on her thigh, consistent with a shark attack,” he added.
Sharks can be found on both the US East and West Coasts. Florida is the state with the largest number of unprovoked shark attacks in the US, reporting almost 900 attacks since 1837, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum.
No other state comes close – Hawaii is second with 182 and California is third with 132.
The file also shows Florida at the top of the global list of reported shark bites, with 38 per cent of unprovoked bites in the world in 2021 being reported in the state.
Florida has reported on average 25 incidents each year over the last half-decade.