Recovery Continues for FW Boy Bit by Shark

By Elvira Sakmari
|  Saturday, Jul 16, 2011  |  Updated 10:04 AM CDT
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Nicholas Vossler underwent his fourth surgery to repair his foot after he was attached by a bull shark off the Texas coast.

Kristi Nelson, NBCDFW.com

Nicholas Vossler underwent his fourth surgery to repair his foot after he was attached by a bull shark off the Texas coast.

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Fort Worth Boy Attacked By Shark

A 12-year-old Fort Worth boy is recovering after he was attacked by a bull shark, like this one, off Matagorda Island last week.
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Nicholas Vossler of Fort Worth, underwent his fourth surgery this week to reconstruct his foot, mangled by a shark off the Texas Coast last week.

"We were swimming in the surf, you know just having a good time," said Vossler. "It was waist-deep water and a shark came up and bit my foot."

Vossler, 12,  was playing in the water off Sunday Beach near Port O'Connor when a man-eating bull shark attacked.

"I felt a shark holding onto my foot, and it was kind of shaking it, you know like shaking its head like vibrations... and I looked down and saw a shark head," said Vossler. "When I saw my foot and the artery and the bone sticking out, it ripped my flesh off and it started hurting."

Vossler and his family were on vacation, but their quick-thinking saved his foot.

"My dad took off his shirt and wrapped it around my foot to put pressure on it to stop the bleeding," said Vossler.

Vossler's mother was able to flag down a fast boat to get him back to shore quickly. "When I put his head in my lap he said 'mom, you need to start praying,'" said Alisha Vossler.

When the Vosslers arrived at the hospital, he was in danger of losing his foot, but after four surgeries his doctor at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital is hopeful. "Prognosis is good, I think he's going to come back and have a functional foot," said Dr. Charles S. Cox, Jr.

Vossler will have what is expected to be his final surgery next week. Doctors say he will be able to run, possibly by Christmas and that he'll always have some scarring, but will likely be able to do things he wants to do like fishing.

"I want to be a fireman and own an aquarium store and I really do love fish, and I like having pet fish and fish tanks and stuff," said Vossler.

Bull sharks are very aggressive and comfortable in shallow water, but shark attacks off the U.S. coast are extremely rare.

"You have a better chance of winning the lottery really than being bitten by shark," said Mike Mitchell with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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