“I made it:” 15-year-old girl mauled by shark awake, talking after attack on Florida Panhandle

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. — Family members say a 15-year-old girl who was attacked by a shark on the Florida Panhandle is awake and talking after suffering life-threatening injuries.

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Lulu Gribbin was at Rosemary Beach with her twin sister and friends during a mother-daughter beach trip when she was attacked, her mother, Ann Gribbins, wrote on CaringBridge. She was rushed to a Pensacola hospital, where doctors told her family that the shark bit off her left hand and they had to amputate her right leg above her knee.

Ann Gribbins said that on Saturday, doctors were able to take Lulu off the ventilator. Her first words to her mother were “I made it.”


Ann Gribbins said her daughter told her that she and her friends were in waist-deep water looking for sand dollars when someone spotted a shark.

Lulu told her mother that the shark grabbed her hand and leg and then went for her foot. A man and boy in the water helped her out of the water and two doctors and a nurse on the beach put tourniquets on her wounds.

Her mother and friends were having lunch nearby and walked up on the commotion on the shore.

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“I saw her wounds on her leg and started to scream,” Gribbins wrote on CaringBridge. “She was lifeless her eyes closed mouth white and pale. The wound on her leg or all that was left of her leg was something out of a movie.”

Gribbins said her daughter has several more surgeries and a lengthy recovery ahead of her.

“I know this was a terrible accident, but God was there and had the people there who helped save her life,” Gribbins said. “Lulu said she felt God in the back of the beach truck. She is truly a miracle.”

Lulu’s friend, who hasn’t been identified, suffered flesh wounds to her foot. A few hours before, a 45-year-old woman swimming with her husband was also attacked by a shark. She lost part of her left arm and had serious injuries to her pelvic area. She’s been identified by family as Elisabeth Foley, of Glenn Allen, VA.

Lulu is from Mountain Brook, Ala.. Walton County, Fla. is a popular destination spot for vacationers in Alabama and Georgia.

You can donate to a fundraiser for Foley HERE.

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