Lucky Lucy: I Forgive The Shark

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The parents of the 6-year-old victim of last week's shark attack on Ocracoke Island are telling their story, starting on NBC's TODAY Show.

Ann Curry interviewed Craig and Jordan Mangum of Durham and their daughter Lucy. Lucy didn't have much to say, appearing shy for the cameras, but her parents gave a riveting account of the shark attack and a positive outlook for her recovery.

Jordan Mangum says she first heard Lucy screaming in the water off Ocracoke Island last Tuesday and ran to her. "I saw the shark," she said. "I immediately discovered her leg had been bitten."

The report revealed how serious Lucy's injuries were: a 90 percent muscle tear along with a severed artery.

Jordan Mangum says she started putting pressure on the shark bite with her hand and yelled for her husband Craig, who happens to be an emergency room doctor at WakeMed in Raleigh.

"I knew right away it was a very significant injury," said Dr. Mangum.

Lucy has been at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville since the shark attack. She was airlifted there from the coast.

Dr. Richard Zeri, a Greenville plastic surgeon, said Lucy could have lost her leg. She still has a way to go in terms of recovery and will require physical therapy. Doctors expect her to be able to walk and run again in six to eight weeks. Dr. Mangum says, "Her prognosis is great."

Lucy's mom revealed that Lucy has forgiven the shark for attacking her. "I don't care that the shark bit me," Jordan recounted her daughter saying. "I forgive him." Dr. Mangum joked that the shark would send a letter of apology as soon as he can get to a mailbox.

At a subsequent news conference, Lucy told reporters "I tried to swim away." Asked what the shark thought she was, the six year old responded, "a fish."

Lucy was discharged from PCMH this morning.

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The parents of the 6-year-old victim of last week's shark attack on Ocracoke Island are telling their story, starting on NBC's TODAY Show.

In a press release, Lucy Mangum's parents say they will address the news media Tuesday morning at a press conference at the East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, and NBC confirms the family will make an appearance on TODAY.

Lucy will make a brief appearance with her parents during the press conference. Her parents said she was in good condition last week after a shark bit her foot and leg while she played in just a foot and a half of water on Ocracoke Island.

The Mangum family resides in the Triangle.

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University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina released this statement on behalf of the shark-attack victim's family:

"Our daughter is in good condition after receiving a shark bite to the right leg. The shark attack occurred in two feet of water on Ocracoke Island. Mom was ten feet away and witnessed the event. Paramedics arrived promptly and she received excellent medical attention from EMS personnel, life-flight crew, and Pitt County Memorial Hospital medical staff in Greenville. She is in good spirits, declaring this morning that, 'I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better.'

From this point forward, we will not be releasing any additional information about her condition. Also, we will not be granting any media interviews. Thank you for respecting our privacy."

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A six-year-old girl is in critical condition after authorities say she was bitten by a shark.

The National Park Service says it happened around 5:30 p.m. on Ocracoke Island, just south of ramp 72. The child was bitten on her lower right leg and foot.

Authorities say she was swimming with boogie board in 18-inch water with her two parents. The girl was flown to Pitt County Memorial Hospital where the Park Service says she is in critical condition this morning.

Bystanders reported a black-finned shark attacking the girl.

A Hyde County spokeswoman says the girl and her parents were tourists on the island and not from the area. Earlier authorities had reported the girl was 5 years old.

The Park Service says the last shark bite on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was off Avon in 2001 when a man died from his injuries.

"Late afternoon and early morning are the most common times of day to see these sharks so close to shore," said Park Ranger Kenny Ballance. He says the last shark attack on Ocracoke was more than 35 years ago.

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Hyde County Officials say there was a shark attack near Ocracoke Island Tuesday.

Shortly after 5 pm, Hyde County EMS, National Park Service, and the Ocracoke Fire Department responded to a call at Ramp 72 on Ocracoke Island for a shark bite. Bystanders described what appeared to be a shark attacking a child in the South Point area, according to Hyde County Deputy Emergency Services Director Brian Carter.

Carter said the 5 year old female patient was flown via East Care to an area hospital and the patient's condition is unknown at this time.