Survivor of shark attack keeps his sense of humor
By RAY WEISS
DAYTONA BEACH — Just hours after surgery, Aaron Edelson recalled Sunday the shark attack that ripped a large chunk of flesh from his left calf.
The 18-year-old Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University freshman was waiting for a big wave late Saturday afternoon on his boogie board when he felt a thump, pull and then a sting. At first, he thought one of his college friends were "playing around."
But he was alone out in the Atlantic waters, south of the International Speedway Boulevard beach approach, where very few shark attacks have occurred.
"I saw the blood and knew I got hit pretty hard," he said from his hospital bed at Halifax Medical Center. "I never saw the shark. But I felt him thrashing around, go by me. I feared it would attack again, that there would be a feeding frenzy."
Edelson, a Jacksonville native, started hollering "shark attack." He said he immediately went into shock, and didn´t start feeling pain until friends and rescuers rushed him to shore.
"I wanted to pretend it was just a scratch," he said.
Meanwhile, his parents had just stepped out of a Jacksonville theater after seeing "Finding Nemo." They rushed by car to the Daytona Beach hospital´s trauma center.
Joe Edelson, Aaron´s father, said his wife had just brought down their son´s boogie board on Friday. "Never in our lives did we expect a shark attack," he said. "I was scared. Our first concern was that he would lose his leg."
Aaron, who was listed in stable condition, said he suffered damage to his Achilles tendon, but that the full extent of his injuries will not be known for a while. He is scheduled to leave the hospital and return to his college dorm in a few days.
"They will be monitoring me for infections," he said.
Aaron said he expects to return to the water eventually.
Aaron laughed and added: "And I´m excited. I got a cool nickname now: Shark Bait."
http://www.news-journalonline.com/speci ... 091503.htm