Shark bite victim speaks via video message at news conference

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Doctors say the life of a teenager who was attacked by a shark nearly two weeks ago was saved by measures taken before she arrived at the hospital.

Paige Winter has undergone multiple surgeries at Vidant Medical Center since the attack June 2nd at Fort Macon State Park.

Through a recorded video, the teen briefly spoke publicly for the first time. "I want people to see that I'm going to be alright and that I'm going to be able to do all the stuff that they can do."

"When I was in that water I was like praying, I'm 17, I've got so much to do," said the teen.

"I think I can transform this into something good," said Winter. "It really helps to know that I'm not alone in this situation and there are other survivors of shark bites that have been sending me some love and that really helps."

"Sharks are still good people and that's just kinda the truth," said the teenager.

The 17-year-old New Bern High School student had her left leg amputated at the knee and extensive injuries to her hands.

Charlie Winter, her father, said the shark grabbed his daughter and took her underwater. He said he saw pink on the water and it was moving, so he dove in.

"I dove under and I grabbed her," said Winter. "I grabbed her with my left arm. It was a big shark. I immediately started hitting it. I hit it with everything I could and it let go."

Winter, who is a paramedic and firefighter, said he could see the damage to his daughter. The father said he didn't know the shark was chasing them as he brought her to shore.

As they reached the shore, he said his daughter said "Dad", and he responded, "I got you."

Dr. Eric Toschlog, chief of trauma at Vidant, said there are no additional surgeries planned for the teenager and they anticipate her to be discharged to rehabilitation early next week.

The doctor said he has not seen a wound of this severity, ever. Toschlog believes a bull shark attacked WInter.

In addition to the amputation, doctors say Winter lost two fingers on her left hand. Dr. Richard Zeri said the shark's teeth were extremely sharp. "It looks like there was a knife taken to it," the plastic surgeon said.

Doctors said today that Winter should complete physical therapy and rehabilitation within six to twelve months.

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A teenage shark bite victim is planning to speak publicly for the first time since the attack.

Vidant Medical Center is holding a news conference at 1 p.m., where 17-year-old Paige Winter, her family, her surgeon, and other health providers are all expected to speak.

Winter is a junior at New Bern High School.

She had one leg amputated above the knee and suffered damage to her hands after she was bitten by a shark at Fort Macon earlier this month.

Despite multiple surgeries and a long road to recovery ahead, she and her family have said in statements that she's maintained a positive attitude and is thankful it was not worse.

The news conference will be streamed live on and on WITN's Facebook page.


A high school student who survived a shark attack nearly 2 weeks ago on the Crystal Coast will speak to the media for the first time on Friday.

Vidant Medical Center will hold the news conference at 1 p.m. Friday where we will hear from Paige Winter and her family, the surgeon and team of medical professionals that have been caring for her as well as hospital officials.

Winter, a junior at New Bern High School, had one leg amputated above the knee and surgery on damage to her hands, following a shark attack at Fort Macon State Park on June 2.

The teen issued a statement last Friday thanking everyone for their support and ended her statement with #SharksAreStillGoodPeople.

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A high school student who was attacked by a shark last weekend on the Crystal Coast continues to make progress on her recovery.

Paige Winter, a junior at New Bern High School, had one leg amputated above the knee and damage to her hands, following Sunday's attack at Fort Macon State Park.

The 17-year-old underwent a 14-hour surgery on her hands yesterday at Vidant Medical Center and doctors say from a clinical standpoint she is going "extremely well".

"She is to undergo at least one additional surgery on her hands next week, " said Dr. Eric Toschlog. "Providers and staff continue to comment on the strength and resilience of Paige and her family. They The teen also issued a statement on Friday. "I want to thank everyone for all of the support and encouragement that is really helping me stay positive while I'm getting better," said Winter.

Winter noted that Saturday is World Oceans Day, and asked everyone to get involved to "protect and preserve our oceans and all the life in it."

She ended her statement with #SharksAreStillGoodPeople.have been a true joy to care for."