Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Bahamas Shark Attack

One of the wonders of The Google Machine is its ability to flag stories on subjects in which you have a particular interest.  In this case, I have "shark attacks" flagged, which results in me receiving murky news reports of people being bitten by sharks.  Most of these reports are exactly the same.  "A local surfer was by himself in the waves off the beach when his leg was bitten by a shark.  He paddled in and received medical treatment by bystanders.  When reached at the hospital, surfer guy said "I was paddling by myself out in the waves when I felt my leg get bit.".  He is expected to recover shortly."

I got one this week which really caught my attention though...

 "A North Carolina woman lost her arm to a shark June 2 in the Bahamas.  Tiffany Johnson and her husband James were on the last stop of their 7-day cruise when they decided to go parasailing and snorkeling.  The couple found a local guide who took them with another couple to Athol Island.  Although James was feeling seasick during the 20-minute trip out to the reef, he was able to enjoy the water with his wife while they explored the area around a small private island.  When James started feeling queasy, he headed back to the boat.

“I just stayed out for a little bit longer because there was a part of the reef I hadn’t seen yet,” Tiffany explained.  Ten minutes later, the unthinkable happened to Tiffany, who is a healthcare project manager.  “I was just floating there for the most part. I wasn’t moving my arms and legs very much, because I didn’t want to disturb the fish,” she said.  “I felt like a tug or bump on my arm. I honestly thought I had bumped into something, that’s what it felt like,” the mother of three recalled from her hospital bed.
Little did she know a grey medium-sized shark, possibly a tiger, was beside her.  “I causally looked to the right and I was face to face with a shark, and he had my arm in his mouth.  “He didn’t struggle at first. He was just kind of sitting there with my arm in his mouth, almost as if he was waiting for me to do something.  It was very strange.  “It registered what was going on, so I went to pull my arm back and that’s when the struggle began.  We struggled for some time, it wasn’t very long, and then I was able to break free because he had taken my arm,” she said.
The shark had removed Tiffany’s forearm just below her right elbow.  Tiffany threw off her snorkeling gear and screamed for help.  She said she drew upon her Christian faith as said she prayed for help.  Tiffany said “I was really scared that the shark was going to follow me. Blood attracts sharks. I knew I had to get out of the water as fast as possible. It did not follow me, by the grace of God, because it doesn’t make sense to me. It didn’t grab my leg while I was pulling away or anything.”  
Once on-board Tiffany calmly asked for a towel and for it to be wrapped as tightly as possible around her severed appendage.  They then headed to Nassau, and after a 20-minute boat ride, finally made it to the island. First responders were called.  They took the couple to the Princess Margaret Hospital. Surgeons at the hospital were able to clean the wound and saved as much tissue as possible.  “There were just so many people working around the clock trying get me out of there, it was just overwhelming,” Tiffany recalled. “The support . . . it was totally God.”
Tiffany hopes to turn the loss of her arm into a way to share her faith and love of God with others.  “I am convinced I have a testimony to share. I am expecting God to do great things. If testimony is one way people’s lives can be changed, then I want that.  “I believe that is why I am alive. It’s because I relied on him during that situation, I didn’t freak, and I was able to remain calm. And that is only by God’s strength and peace in me, that is why I am alive. I am convinced of that,” she said.
What immediately caught my attention was how happy this woman and her husband are in the photo of her with the chomped off arm.  I mean, that must have been one whale of a cruise to not let a little thing like having your arm bitten off ruin the fun.   The buffet must have been absolutely amazing to say nothing of the omelette station.  Could those two be any happier?  The parasailing must have been fan-fucking-tastic.  “Our trip to the Bahamas?  It was awesome!  Tiffany got her hair braided!  We went parasailing!  We did water aerobics!  Oh yeah…  Tiffany got her arm bit off by a shark, but it was no big deal really…  Did I tell you about the prime rib carving station?”

I also will admit to being confused about how this woman reads this situation to be an appreciative nod from God.   If it’s me that is floating along and get my arm ripped off by a Tiger Shark, my first thought isn’t “ah, yet another sign of God’s love”.  I am more in the camp of bleeding out while screaming at the heavens “Why hast thou forsaken me?  What a cruel and punishing God thou arst!”.  I think as my bloody stump shakes at the sky, it makes that dialogue even more effective.  I definitely try and go what I think Olde English sounds like too.  It's so much more dramatic.  

I am a little jealous of people that can somehow make every horrible event somehow a shower of positive vibes.  It’s a fabulous mindset to be in when you are grinning ear to ear with a bloody stump bandaged up while seated in a wheelchair.  If that’s me, I am going full-on “swigging from a rum bottle, unshaven, giving the camera the finger while screaming “stop looking at my stump!” as they wheel me out.  This means I am either a realist or faithless heathen.  My gut tells me I am a heathen.     


At June 22, 2017 at 3:35:00 PM EDT , Blogger vfh159 said...

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.


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