If you ask people what some of their fears are, spiders, heights, or cramped, dark places will probably be at the top of their lists. But if you ask anyone who lives by the water or has ever seen the movie “Jaws”, sharks are probably a pretty big fear.
We don’t hear about shark attacks all that often, but when we do, it sends a chill down our spines. It is rare that a person even survives a shark attack, but thankfully, Maria Korcsmaros did.
The 54-year-old woman was training for a triathlon in Newport, California, when she hopped in the water to strengthen her swimming. While in the ocean, she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her torso. It didn’t take long for Maria to realize that she had been bitten by a shark.
“My family, my son and my husband were going to spend the day at the beach. I was in the water for about 10 minutes. I felt this piercing pain in my torso and thought to myself ‘I have just been bitten by a shark.'" she recalled.
Not realizing how badly she had been bitten, Maria tried to flag down a lifeguard boat about 250 feet away. Unable to swim anymore, she started to scream for help, then she felt someone pulling her out of the water.
Luckily, Maria was rescued by a nearby lifeboat and quickly taken to the hospital. There she found out she been bit by a great white shark, which could have easily been 10 feet long.
The results from her attack were numerous: three broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, multiple bite wounds, and a detached tricep. She spent 3 days in the ICU, and needed 161 staples and 7 stitches to treat her injuries.
Maria was able to walk again about 9 days after the shark attack, but she wanted to do much more than walk. She wanted to compete in another triathlon. After months of training, the survivor competed in the “Mission Day” triathlon in San Diego.
After achieving her goal, Maria realized that she wanted to help people recover from traumatic injuries, like she did. She knew she could use her story and her experience to help others get back on their feet.
For most of us, the thought of getting in the water after being bit by a shark seems like an impossible notion, but not for Maria. She never stopped believing in herself, or working to achieve the goals she set for herself before the shark attack.
She is now volunteering at the recovery center that helped her recover after the attack, and we’re sure she’s going to change a lot of lives herself.
What an amazing story!