US News

Teen who lost a hand, leg in Florida shark attack was on first beach trip with mom: ‘I saw her wounds … and started to scream’

The mother of one of two teenage girls attacked by a shark in Florida over the weekend described the horror of seeing her daughter looking “lifeless” after having her hand and part of her leg bitten off, likening it to “something out of a movie.”

Lulu Gribbin, 15, was attacked Friday along a four-mile stretch of the Florida coastline that also saw another Alabama teen, McCray Faust, 17, bitten on the foot and a 45-year-old Virginia woman, Elisabeth Foley, losing part of her left hand, according to WDHN.

Gribbin’s mom, Ann Blair Gribbin, said she was on her “first mother-daughter beach trip” with other friends from Birmingham when she got word there were sharks in the water — before Lulu’s twin sister, Ellie, ran up and told her Lulu had been attacked.

The two teens were attacked about an hour and a half after another woman was attacked by likely the same shark, officials said. South Walton Fire District

“I saw her wounds on her leg and started to scream,” the mom wrote on caringbridge.org.

“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. I finally made it back to her and held her hand and she saw me, and I told her I was there.”

Two doctors who were on vacation together happened to be in the water during the attacks — and provided potentially life-saving care to the wounded girl, who was quickly airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about an hour and 20 minutes away by car.

Lulu Gribbin lost a hand and part of her leg in the horrifying attack. Caringbridge

“We prayed the entire way,” the distraught mom wrote.

Once at the hospital, Gribbin learned that her daughter had lost her left hand in the attack and that doctors had to amputate her right leg halfway between her knee and hip.

She also lost two-thirds of the blood in her body in the horrifying attack, her mother said.

“Of course, no one wants that for your child but she is alive,” the mom wrote.

On Saturday, Lulu’s vitals had improved so much that the tube was taken out of her throat and she began breathing on her own.

“This was a first big step,” Gribbin wrote. “Once she was settled her first words to us were ‘I made it.’ And boy she did.”

Lulu’s mother said she “prayed the entire way” to the hospital. South Walton Fire District

Gribbin expressed gratitude for the hospital staff and the doctors and nurses who were on the beach and provided life-saving care to her daughter.

“At this point we will have multiple surgeries in the days to come and our lives will be forever changed.  Lulu is strong, beautiful, brave and so many more things I can’t count. God has a plan for her, and we will be there to support her every way we can,” she wrote.

About an hour and a half before the teens were attacked, 45-year-old Virginia woman Elisabeth Foley was bitten by a shark four miles away.

The wife and mother of three suffered severe injuries to her midsection and the loss of her left hand, WTVR reported.

Officials believe the same shark attacked both Foley and the two teens.