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Mother of teenager who suffered rare double shark attack gives update on her daughter’s condition

  • Ann Blair Gribbin, mother of Lulu Gribbin, victim of a shark attack on June 7, confirmed in a blog post that her daughter had amputation surgery on her left hand and right leg.
  • Ann said Lulu was “awake” after waking up from the attack in hospital
  • Lulu will need to undergo further surgeries during her recovery, her mother explained in the blog post.

The mother of a teenage victim of the double shark attack in Florida is giving an update on her daughter’s condition after she underwent surgery to repair her injuries following the incident.

In a blog post published on Monday, June 10, Ann Blair Gribbin confirmed that her daughter Lulu Gribbin is “awake” and “chatting” after undergoing amputation of her left hand and part of her right leg. The amputation was a result of the shark attack at Seacrest Beach in Florida on Friday, June 7.

“I have witnessed Lulu being here. Her personality or her funny, smart, loving nature has not changed one bit,” Ann shared on Caring Bridge. “She may have lost her hand and her leg, but she is here and we are truly grateful for that.”

Ann said Lulu had undergone “the first of many” surgeries “to clean the wounds” and “close the amputations,” adding that Lulu had “come through the procedure well.” She said doctors had also looked for shark teeth and Lulu had told her she “wanted them” if they found any.

Ann recounted how she and her husband were “amazed” by their daughter’s “attention.” She also revealed that the family met the two men who saved Lulu’s life by pulling the shark from her hand and bringing her to shore.

“It was amazing to tell them both how incredibly grateful we are that we were brave enough to go into the water where there was a shark to save our sweet girl,” she wrote of the meeting. “Lulu was able to tell them, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’ Lulu is here!”

An archive photo of a great white shark.

Getty


Lulu reached “another big milestone” when doctors removed her central catheter, which was placed below her right shoulder and connected “internally to her heart” where the medication was passed through. Ann said Lulu “wants to be a doctor” and asked to watch the catheters being removed.

Ann added that Lulu is coming off a “clean” diet. “Today she ate applesauce, Jell-O, Gatorade and the best bomb lemonade she’s ever had!!”

Lulu was one of three victims attacked by a shark on two Florida beaches on June 7. Lulu and the second young girl she was with were attacked at Seacrest Beach just before 3 p.m. local time. A 45-year-old woman was also attacked in the abdomen and pelvic area around 1:20 p.m. as she swam past the first sandbar at Watersound Beach in Florida, according to ABC News and WBRC.

Ann explained in her first blog post about her daughter’s condition after the June 9 attack that she, Lulu and her twin sister Ellie traveled to the beach from Birmingham, Alabama, early last week on what she called their “first mother-daughter trip” along with “some of their friends and their moms.”

On June 7, Ann said, she and the group “went outside to Rosemary Beach for lunch,” after which they noticed “the girls and everyone else standing on the beach looking out into the water.” Moments later, Ann remembered seeing Lulu’s “lifeless” body on the beach.

Lulu is flown by helicopter to a local hospital on June 7 after being attacked by a shark at Seacrest Beach in Florida.

South Walton Fire District/Facebook


“I came across a group of people surrounding someone on the ground and looked down. There was Lulu. Ellie found me and said, ‘Mommy, I’m Lulu.’ I saw her wounds on her leg and started screaming. She was lifeless, her eyes were closed, her mouth was white and pale,” she wrote. “The wound on her leg, or whatever was left of her leg, was like something out of a movie.”

Lulu was subsequently flown by helicopter to Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, to undergo surgery because the shark attack “bit her on the hand and then her leg” before biting the foot of one of her friends.

On Saturday, June 8, Ann announced that Lulu began “breathing on her own” and woke up that day with her first words: “I did it.”

Despite the “terrible accident,” Ann said she believes “God was there and had people there” to save her daughter’s life. “She is truly a miracle,” the mother said of her daughter. “We have a long way to go and our journey is just beginning!”

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CNN previously reported that David Vaughn, beach safety director for the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), said it was possible that the same shark was involved in both attacks.