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‘I made it’: Teen Lulu Gribbin recovering after losing hand, leg in Walton County shark attack

A teenager from Birmingham, Alabama, is recovering at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola after losing her left hand and part of her right leg in a shark attack at a Walton […]

Lulu Gribbin (CaringBridge)

A teenager from Birmingham, Alabama, is recovering at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola after losing her left hand and part of her right leg in a shark attack at a Walton County beach on Friday, June 7, 2024.

  • Lulu Gribbin was one of three victims in two separate shark incidents that occurred within a span of 90 minutes.

According to Lulu’s mother, Ann Blair Gribbin, Lulu and her twin sister, Ellie, were on a mother-daughter beach trip with friends when the attack occurred. The group was walking back from lunch when they noticed people on the beach standing and looking out into the water. Upon realizing that Lulu and her friends were not answering their phones, the mothers began to panic and ran towards the scene.

Ann Blair found Lulu surrounded by a group of people on the ground, with severe wounds on her leg. Lulu was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery.

  • Surgeons informed the family that the shark had bitten off Lulu’s left hand and that they had to amputate her right leg halfway up from her knee to her hip. Lulu had also lost 2/3 of her blood.

Despite the severity of her injuries, Lulu’s condition has been improving. She was taken off the ventilator on Saturday and was able to speak, saying, “I made it.” Lulu recounted the attack, explaining that she and five friends were at the first sandbar, about waist-high, looking for sand dollars when the shark bit her hand and leg before attacking another friend’s foot.

Ann Blair expressed gratitude for the individuals who pulled Lulu out of the water, the doctors and nurses on the beach who applied tourniquets, and the medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital.

  • She acknowledged that while their lives will be forever changed, Lulu is strong, beautiful, and brave, and the family will support her every step of the way.

On Monday, June 10, Lulu underwent the first of many surgeries to clean out the wounds and begin closing the amputations. Doctors reported that the surgery went well, and Lulu remained alert and talkative throughout the day, according to her mother.

  • The family also had the opportunity to thank two men who helped pull Lulu from the water and carry her to shore, with Lulu expressing her gratitude for their life-saving actions.

As Lulu continues her recovery journey, her family asks for prayers for strength, healing, and acceptance. They are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community and remain hopeful for Lulu’s future, with her mother stating, “Lulu is here, and we are forever grateful for this journey.”

3 Responses

  1. When one door closes another will open. Be strong. Good will come from your tragedy. I lost my right leg to infection but all is well 9 months later. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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