Teen injured in battle with shark on Texas Gulf coast

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by MICHELLE HOMER and JEFF McSHAN

KHOU

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 5:17 PM

Shark attack

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SURFSIDE BEACH, Texas – A teenager attacked by a shark near Surfside Beach Monday afternoon faces several surgeries, according to his mother.

Fifteen-year-old Garrett Sebesta underwent his first surgery Monday night at a Houston hospital.

Sebesta was wading in waist-deep water with a church group when he felt something bite his leg. He reached into the water to pull the shark off, Surfside police said, and the shark bit his left hand.

His mom told KHOU-TV that her son has severe nerve damage in his hand, and a big chunk of his calf his missing.

Z.W. Monnat was one of the first paramedics on the scene. "He’s gonna be good. Strong kid," said Monnat. "Kudos to the victim ‘cause he felt the shark bite, and then he literally tore the shark off of him."

A witness said Sebesta appeared to be conscious and talking when he was loaded onto a stretcher.

"He didn't look like he was in any pain when they were taking him on the stretcher to Life Flight," said Billy Cornelius. "He was looking around."

A Life Flight helicopter rushed Sebesta to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center where he is in stable condition.

Paramedics called Life Flight because they wanted to ensure that surgeons could try to give the Needville teen complete use of his injured hand.

Several people have reported spotting — even catching — sharks recently in Surfside and swimmers are advised to use caution.

Surfside is about 60 miles south of Houston.

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