‘120-140 stitches is not minor,' mom of shark attack survivor says

Atherton H.S. student bit by shark

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS 11) --The mother of a Louisville teenager who was attacked by a shark in Florida said her daughter has received a lot of support from family, friends, and people she hadn't heard from in years.

Caitlyn Taylor, 17, is in Destin Florida with the Atherton High School softball team during Spring Break, her mother Tracey said by phone.

Taylor was with teammates at a sandbar at the SunDestin Beach Resort and Hotel when the shark, described by officials as 5 feet long, swam past her teammates and even brushed against her sister, who is also a teammate, before attacking Caitlyn, Mrs. Taylor said.

"Caitlyn says she turned around and the head of it was coming towards her with a wave and she said she turned to swim back to shore and she says she felt it just grab her and lift her off of the bottom," Mrs. Taylor described. She said Caitlyn was able to break free after punching the shark on its nose.


Mrs. Taylor disputed the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office account of Caitlyn only having suffered a "minor injury" in the attack.

"There's nothing minor about having to have 120-140 stitches," she said. Mrs. Taylor shared images of the injuries to her daughter's legs, which showed several bite marks.

"She has cuts on her hand and upper and lower jaw marks on both legs."

She said Caitlyn was in good spirits despite the injuries and was mostly upset she couldn't be with her teammates on the field Monday.

This story will be updated.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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