Boy bitten by shark keeps positive attitude

July 15, 2011 4:19:00 PM PDT
A young boy who was bitten by a shark earlier this week is recovering after undergoing another surgery Friday morning. Now the boy's father and doctor talk about the attack and the damage done. Nicholas Vossler, 12, underwent his fifth surgery on Friday, but his dad says his son will recover and can't wait to get back to fishing.

Even in his hospital bed, Nicholas is still smiling a week after his foot was nearly bitten off by a bull shark while the family was spending the day near Matagorda Island.

"We were just out there playing in the surf," recalled Nicholas' father, Cecil Vossler. "We had a good day of fishing, good morning of fishing, a full limit of trout."

It was in fairly shallow water when a bull shark bit Nicholas. Fortunately, a family friend was nearby to help.

"My friend saw the attack, and saw it happen, the look on his face, and grabbed and pulled him away from the shark," Cecil said.

Even though a variety of sharks can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, experts say attacks are rare. For Nicholas though, the one attack will make for a fairly long recovery.

Dr. Charles Cox said, "He'll be in the hospital for another week at least, probably 10 days."

Nicholas' big brother has set up a blog called 'Nicholas Bites Back' to keep family and friends informed of his recovery. His dad says the 12-year-old has a positive outlook.

"He's accepted it," Cecil said. "We're just trying to see what's God's plan for us and why this will happen."

Nicholas' surgery on Friday was focused on grafting some tissue and skin from other parts of his body to cover up the open wound the shark left behind. It's not going to be easy to get back on his feet, but his father says he's looking forward to it.

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