A 12-year-old boy who nearly lost his foot to a shark sat in a wheelchair at a hospital Friday and recalled how he hit the animal's nose and lifted it into the air to get its clenched teeth from his ankle.
"It was pretty scary at first," Julian Elizondo recalled.
"I thought it was my friends playing with me until I looked up," he said. "Then I felt a sharp pain tugging it and pulling it. A father of one of Julian's friends ran out and plucked the boy out of the surf.
"I thought it would come back," said Julian, who hasn't been able to walk since the attack a week earlier. "I was just trying to get as far away as possible."
Julian had gone to the beach on the evening of Aug. 19 with some of his teammates following football practice. He had heard about other shark bites along the coast in recent months and decided to stay in shallow water and just jump the waves.
"We didn't think anything would happen because we were only knee deep," Julian said. "It was at night, so I didn't see anything. I wasn't expecting anything."
Julian, who underwent two operations, should be back on the football field next year, said Dr. David Yngve, a surgeon at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He'll have to wear three different casts for nine months and go through months of physical therapy to allow his ankle to heal properly, the AP.
Photo: Jonathan Bird