Hunter Treschl was wading waist-deep with a cousin off a North Carolina beach Sunday when he first felt disaster bump against him then bite off his left arm. He said he wasn't worried until he realized the awful truth.
"We were just playing around in the waves, and I felt a hit on my left calf," Treschl said in a videotaped interview. "I thought it felt like a big fish, and I started moving away. And then the shark bit my arm — off."
Treschl, 16, one of two youngsters who were maimed in shark attacks on Sunday, continued his recovery Wednesday. The interview was released by the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., where he was recovering.
After the attack at the beach on Oak Island, his cousin helped Treschl to shore. The teen described how a person ran toward him with a belt that was used as tourniquet to try to halt the bleeding from the severed limb while others tried to comfort him.
They "were all helping me kind of stay calm until the ambulance got there."
Treschl said he never saw the shark until it struck.
"That was the first time I saw it, when it was biting up my left arm," said the Colorado Springs, Colo., teenager.
He insisted he would live a normal life despite the loss.
"I have two options: I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don't have an arm, or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it," he said.
"Out of those two, there's really only one that I would actually choose and that's to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I've been dealt."
About two miles away from the Treschl incident, Kiiersten Yow, 12, was attacked by a shark an hour earlier on Sunday. She lost her left arm below the elbow and suffered a leg injury.
Yow was listed in stable condition at North Carolina Children's Hospital at the University of North Carolina, according to a statement released by her parents, Brian and Laurie Yow.
"She has a long road to recovery that will include surgeries and rehabilitation, but her doctors at UNC expect she will keep her leg, and for that we are grateful," they said, asking for privacy.
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