Lisa Mondy tells of her great white terror
EXCLUSIVE by Clementine Cuneo
From:The Daily Telegraph
April 12, 201112:00AM
No ill will ... Lisa Mondy, 24, who was the victim of a shark attack / Pic: Liam Driver Source: The Daily Telegraph
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SHE was nearly killed by one of the ocean's fiercest predators.
But shark attack victim Lisa Mondy holds no ill-will towards the creature that mauled her face and almost ripped off her arm.
Returning to the Port Stephens beach where she was attacked last month, the 24-year-old spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about her encounter with the great white that, incredibly, she still liked and respected.
"My face was like minced meat ... but it wasn't its fault, it was just one of those things," Ms Mondy told The Daily Telegraph.
"I didn't see it coming, the first I knew was when it grabbed my face. As weird as it sounds, the first thing I thought was 'Hey, I've always stuck up for sharks, why are you doing this to me?'."
The horrific scarring on her face and cumbersome bandage on her arm are constant reminders of her brush with death. Her mouth and neck are disfigured and she has barely any movement in her left arm, but she said frankly: "I'm alive."
Ms Mondy told of the terrifying moment the shark latched on to her face and ripped open her chin and neck.
It swam off, only to return and grab her left arm, nearly wrenching it from her shoulder.
She had been wakeboarding near Jimmys Beach, at Port Stephens on March 16, when the shark, lurking in the clear water, reared up without warning.
She had just fallen from her wakeboard, and was waiting for the boat to turn back and pick her up, when she was attacked. When the great white released its grasp on her face, Ms Mondy barely had a chance to catch her breath before the monster did an about-turn and had a second bite.
The shark grabbed her left arm, shredding it so badly doctors first feared the only option for the young survivor would be to have it amputated.
"It's pretty awful under there," she said, revealing some of the wound to her upper arm. "But at least I've got it."
Ms Mondy spent two weeks in Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital after numerous operations to save her arm, which doctors achieved, and to repair her torn face.
Although she has just returned home to the Nelson Bay area, yesterday was not the first time the self-confessed "water lover" has been back to visit the scene of the shocking incident.
"I didn't want this to ruin my love of the water, so it was important for me to get back as soon as I could," she said.
"I went out on a boat, pretty much to the spot. I couldn't get in as I can't get my arm wet, but I want to get back in."
Through her recovery Ms Mondy has been buoyed by the support of family and friends, and even words of encouragement, and bedside visit, by another shark attack survivor, David Pearson, a surfer mauled a week later at Crowdy Head.
"It's like I've joined some elite club for shark attack victims," she joked. "Dave was in hospital at the same time as me, so he came and saw me. It was really nice." She has also been contacted by Paul de Gelder, a navy diver who lost his right hand and part of his right leg in a shark attack near Garden Island, in Sydney Harbour, in February 2009.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/i ... 6037468347