A 6-year-old Mormon girl who was attacked by a shark last week near Ocracoke, N.C., is sharing her story with the media.
Lucy Mangum was playing on a boogie board in shallow water on July 19 when the shark approached around 5 p.m. She tried to swim away, but the shark grabbed Lucy's right leg and foot, leaving two deep bite marks and exposing tendons and muscle, according to WRAL-TV5, a Raleigh, N.C., television station.
Jordan Mangum, Lucy's mother and a BYU graduate from Provo, heard Lucy scream and pulled her from the water. Her husband, an emergency room physician, wrapped their daughter's leg in a T-shirt. Lucy was calm, her parents told the TV station, but still had questions: "Am I going to die? Am I going to walk? Am I going to have a wheelchair?"
"She was talking to me and actually asking questions right after it happened, so I knew she would be OK, ... (but) these were questions we couldn't answer," Jordan Mangum said.
Lucy also asked if they could say a prayer, Jordan Mangum said. "We said a prayer for her on the beach. Her faith and stoicism was a marvel to us."
Dr. Richard Zeri, chief of plastic surgery at East Carolina School of Medicine, said of Lucy's injuries, "She had significant lacerations to her calf, her ankle and her foot and injury to one of the major vessels that brings blood supply to the foot and the leg."
Lucy is expected to make a full recovery. She also said she forgives the shark.
"Last night, we were chatting about it and she said, 'I don't care that the shark bit me, I forgive him,' " Jordan Mangum told Ann Curry this morning during NBCs "Today" show.
Lucy's father said he's proud of how well Lucy has coped.
"She's a strong little spirit, and this kind of proves that," Craig Mangum told The Daily Reflector. "We feel like Lucy's story is a miracle story."
He said they're now aware of the danger of shark attacks and won't allow their four young children in the water after 5:30 p.m., knowing now that sharks come closer to shore to feed at that time. But with the proper precautions, the family will return to the island, and with time he expects Lucy will swim in those same waters again.
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