Mother-Daughter Beach Trip Takes a Harrowing Turn, but Mom Recalls How God Is at Work

Lulu Gribbin

Lulu Gribbin,15, took a beach trip with her mom, twin sister Ellie, friends, and their moms. After a few days of beachy fun, things took a turn when Lulu became a victim of a shark attack.

There were three reported shark attacks at two different beaches in the area, which officials believe were done by the same bull shark. Lulu Gribbin and her friend McCray Faust were both attacked at Rosemary Beach in Walton County, Florida. Lulu suffered severe injuries to her upper leg and hand. McCray had injuries to her foot and was later released from the hospital.

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The Bull Shark Is Known For It’s Aggressive Behavior

Before Lulu and McCray were attacked, it is believed that the shark attacked a 45-year-old woman 4 miles away. She lost the lower part of her left hand and is in stable condition.

The bull shark is found in warm, shallow waters along coasts and rivers. They can be found in fresh and saltwater and have been known to travel up the Mississippi River. Bull sharks are known for their aggressive nature, and the larger ones are probably responsible for most shark attacks near the beach.

Ann Blair Gribbin, Lulu Gribbin’s mom, wrote about what happened that day as well as updates about Lulu’s condition on her Caring Bridge page. Lulu, Ellie, and their mom, Ann, came down from Birmingham, AL, to spend a few days with friends and their moms at the beach. It was the ideal mother-daughter trip.

Lulu Gribbin’s Mom Knew Something Was Wrong

The first two days were amazing, having fun on the beach with friends. However, on Friday, June 7th, as Ann was walking back to the beach after lunch, she noticed that everyone on the beach was looking at the water. She soon realized something was wrong, and she found Lulu. “The wound on her leg or all that was left of her leg was something out of a movie. I finally made it back to her and held her hand and she saw me, and I told her I was there. Her eyes were open. I had no idea how long she had been there or what had happened,” Ann wrote.

The EMTs then loaded her on a board into a beach truck and then air-lifted her to the hospital. Ann and Ellie followed in the car, which was an hour and 20-minute drive. “We prayed the entire way,” she writes. “My friend who was driving was a God send for me and Ellie and knew exactly what to pray. All I could say over and over was please be alive please breathe.”

When they got to the hospital, Lulu was already in surgery. She was alive, and her vitals were good. We can only imagine the relief they felt when they heard that news.

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Lulu’s Injuries

This was when they were informed 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. She had also lost 2/3 of the blood in her body.

They were told she might need to be intubated for the next week or so and would need 4 to 5 surgeries to finalize the amputations. However, they were able to take the tube out on the 8th, and she was able to breathe on her own. “This was a first big step,” Ann wrote. “Once she was settled her first words to us were ‘I made it.’ And boy she did.”

Once Lulu Gribbin woke up, she was able to share what had happened to her that day. She and her friends were at the first sand bar, about waist-high water, looking for sand dollars. The shark bit Lulu’s hand and leg and then her friend’s foot. A man then grabbed her other arm to get her away from the shark, and another young boy helped him carry her to shore.

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Heroes On the Beach Helped Lulu

Two doctors and two other young women, including a nurse, surrounded Lulu and put tourniquets on her wounds, which Ann believes led to saving her daughter’s life. We must thank God for the heroes who were there at that moment and knew what needed to be done.

Ann goes on to say, “Lulu is strong, beautiful, brave and so many more things I can’t count. God has a plan for her, and we will be there to support her every way we can. ”

Ann ends the post by asking for prayers for Lulu, prayers for strength for her and her husband, and for the other girls on the beach. “I know this was a terrible accident, but God was there and had the people there who helped save her life. Lulu said she felt God in the back of the beach truck. She is truly a miracle. We have a long road ahead and our journey is just beginning!”

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We pray for Lulu as she heals and works through her recovery. What happened that day on the beach has changed her and her family forever. But God is with her and will be with her every step of the way.

WATCH: Update After Lulu Gribbin’s Shark Attack

“Then they cry to the LORD in their trouble, and he saves them out of their distresses.” – Psalms 107:19

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Featured Image Credit: YouTube/WDHN