A shark violently pulled 17-year-old Paige Winter under as she waded in waist-deep water at a North Carolina beach on June 2, 2019. While she lost a leg and two fingers, it’s a miracle she survived at all. And now, she’s sharing her inspiring story of the role faith and family has played in her incredible recovery.
Paige Winter was enjoying a day of fun with her family at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina when the unthinkable happened. Out of nowhere, a shark clamped down on her leg and pulled her under the water.
During the horrifying attack, Paige almost gave up. But then she cried out to God for protection.
As Paige Winter was praying to her Heavenly Father, her earthly father was using his bare hands to strike the shark until it let his little girl go.
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“Carrying her through the water, I was holding her leg as tight as I could to stop the bleeding. And then once I hit that shore. . . I’m a dad,” Charlie Winter recalled.
A rescue team rushed Paige to the hospital, where doctors had no choice but to amputate her left leg at the mid-thigh. Multiple surgeries on her hands followed and she lost two fingers.
But God blessed Paige with a fighter’s spirit. And her perseverance in the face of such an awful tragedy has even astounded and inspired her doctors.
“Paige Winter is an extraordinary young woman,” Dr. Eric Toschlog says. “I hear recurring words to describe her: courageous, forgiving and resilient. . . She has lifted and inspired those around her.”
Shark Attack Survivor Inspires With Her Recovery
God orchestrated many different things together to save Paige that day. Her father, who happens to be a firefighter and paramedic, played a big part, as did a stranger who used his belt as a tourniquet on Paige.
An amazing medical team skilled with the technological advancements necessary to treat Paige’s injuries also played a huge role. But all of these things ultimately came from God.
“The real heroes in this story are a loving father and mother, a volunteer on a beach and a truly amazing young woman,” Dr. Eric Toschlog says. “Paige is alive as a result of one of the strongest forces that I have encountered in 20 years as a trauma surgeon, surpassing any medical technology. She was saved by love, the love of a father for his daughter.”
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As 1 John 4:7-21 reminds us, God is love and all love comes from Him. And you can certainly see His light shining in this amazing young lady.
When asked what kind of message Paige wanted people to get from her story, the teen’s response was incredible.
“Sometimes life just throws really weird obstacles at you. . . It’s really hard. But isn’t that why we do things anyway? ‘Cause they’re hard?”
Listening to Paige Winter share her story will truly leave you in awe. And it’s inspiring all who hear it.
WATCH: Shark Attack Survivor Paige Winter Shares Her Inspiring Story
So much of what happened after the shark attack is nothing short of miraculous. So many things were in just the right place at the right time to ensure Paige survived.
But more than that, seeing the spark inside her and the love between Paige and her family just confirms God has big plans for this sweet girl!
Even after all she’s endured, Paige’s experience inspired her to learn more about sharks and even advocate for the creatures. She’s overcome so much, walking again with the help of a prosthetic leg. Her incredible story has become such an inspiration, National Geographic even documented her journey back to the water for the first time since the attack in the show Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story.
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There’s no doubt God has big plans for this inspirational overcomer!
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
WATCH: Paige Winter Returns To Water For The First Time Since Shark Attack
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h/t and Featured Image Credit: Youtube/ABC News