Family members of Bethany Hamilton posted an optimistic injury update Monday on the pro surfer, who suffered a sliced bicep in a surfing wipeout in Indonesia last week that required 10 stitches and caused numbness in her arm.
Hamilton, who lost her left arm from a shark bite while surfing on Kauia’s North Shore on October 31, 2003, was newly injured last Wednesday during a 10-day surf trip in the area of Mentawai. Hamilton’s arm was cut by her surfboard fin during a session of the trip sponsored by Rip Curl.
She was flown to Singapore for initial tests by a doctor that showed that possible nerve damage was to a secondary nerve in the arm and not a major nerve as first feared. She has returned to her home in Hawaii.
“Thank you for your prayers this weekend,” stated family members in an online letter. “After some clinical tests, the doctor in Singapore concluded that it was not the ulnar nerve (which is an important one), but that it was the medial cutaneous nerve of the forearm that was injured. This nerve is often used as a ‘donor’ nerve. And the doctor reported that she has good strength in her arm. So the scenario is better than we expected – thank you, Lord!”
Hamilton is scheduled to see her own doctor and specialist in her hometown for further evaluation. At that point, a decision will be made as to whether surgery is needed to get “full feeling back in the arm,” family members stated.
“Our family is continuing to trust God and thank Him for all He's done,” Hamilton’s family concluded in the letter.
Hamilton posted on her Twitter account early Tuesday: “... my arm is healing well(: can't wait to b in the water again!”
It was a different story last week. She tweeted: “Had a really bad wipe out got ten stitches in my arm, out of the water for a week. Awake at 3:52am. Stuck on a boat. #homesick.”
Hamilton is considered one of the top female surfers in the world. Her account of the 2003 shark attack and recovery was detailed in her autobiography Soul Surfer. The book was made into a movie bearing the same title.
While in the spotlight, Hamilton has been outspoken about her unshaking faith.
"I believe in God. Nobody made me believe," she has stated.
Also expressing her love for surfing, she stated in a recent "I Am Second" video, “Being out there in the ocean, God’s creation, it’s like a gift He has given us to enjoy.”