Pensacola Beach volunteer firefighters Tony
Thomas, left, and Todd LeRoy remove a dead shark responsible for the attack on
an eight-year-old boy Friday near Pensacola Beach, Fla.
by shark recovering
Fla. - An eight-year-old boy recovering from a shark attack is no longer in a
deep coma and is responding to stimulation, doctors said
Jessie Arbogast is making slow progress after his
right arm was reattached following his attack by a bull shark a week ago.
Doctors on Friday planned to try to slowly take him off a device used to help
with his breathing.
"Jessie, neurologically, is our main
focus right now. He is no longer in a deep coma," said Dr. Rob Patterson. He
said the boy doesn't respond to light stimulation but "he is certainly
responding to pain and deep stimulation, and we have every reason to be
The Ocean Springs, Miss., boy was attacked
at the Gulf Islands National Seashore last Friday, losing his right arm and
sustaining a deep wound to his leg. He lost nearly all his blood, which damaged
His uncle and a beachgoer hauled the
two-metre shark ashore and a park ranger fired four bullets into the head of
the bull shark and retrieved the arm from the shark's
Doctors said the family has received flowers,
letters and e-mails from people all over the world and remained focused on the
health of their child.
"They have such a great sense of
faith. Their faith is pulling them through," said Sister Jean Rhoads of "Sacred
Heart Children's Hospital. "They have a great sense of peace in their hearts.
Their total focus remains on their son."
victim may have brain damage
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25,2001
Fla. - An eight-year-old boy attacked by a shark over the weekend suffered harm
to virtually every organ because of massive blood loss and may have brain
damage, a doctor said yesterday.
Jessie Arbogast's arm -
reattached after it was pried out of the shark's mouth and delivered to
surgeons - was healing well. But the boy remained in critical condition
yesterday after at least six surgeries to repair damage done in Friday night's
Dr. Rex Northup said the boy arrived at the
hospital with no blood pressure, no pulse and damage to "literally his entire
"Because of the shark injuries and loss of blood
associated with that, his brain did go through a period of time with a very low
amount of blood flow," Dr. Northup said. "If we can get another several days
behind us where things don't deteriorate, we'll be happy with that.
Jessie, who has been undergoing dialysis at Sacred Heart
Children's Hospital since he went into kidney failure Sunday, has not been able
to talk with family members.
"He has done a little bit of
a spontaneous eye opening and blinking of his eyes, but at this point is not
coherent," Dr. Northup said.
The Ocean Springs, Miss.,
boy was attacked in the surf at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the
His uncle, Vance Flosenzier of
Mobile, Ala., wrestled the two-metre bull shark to shore with help of another
beachgoer, said Megan MacPherson, a spokeswoman for Mr. Flosenzier. She said
Mr. Flosenzier did not want to release any information about himself and he did
not know who helped him.
A ranger shot the shark four
times with a pistol, and pried its jaw open with a police baton. A volunteer
firefighter used a clamp to pull the boy's severed arm out of the shark's
The boy was air lifted to Baptist Hospital about
30 minutes after the attack and the arm was
Circulation in the arm and in the boy's gashed
leg was good, doctors-said, but he will probably be unable to use the arm for
up to 18 months.
According to the International Shark
Attack File in Gainesville, 34 of the country's 51 reported shark attacks last
year were in Florida. One of the attacks was fatal: A 69-year-old man was
killed by a bull shark near his St. Petersburg home last August.
There were 79 shark attacks worldwide last year,
including 10 that were fatal. File officials said it is the highest number
since the organization began keeping records in 1958.