Shark attack survivor and pro surfer Bethany Hamilton suffered a sliced bicep in a surfing accident in Indonesia Wednesday, requiring 10 stitches and causing concern about apparent numbness in her arm.
Hamilton lost her left arm from a shark bite while surfing on Kauia’s North Shore on October 31, 2003. This week’s incident happened during a 10-day surf trip in the area of Mentawai and sponsored by Rip Curl.
Yesterday, family members posted an online letter (by way of an e-mail website app) that asked for urgent prayer as Hamilton was on her way home, stopping in Singapore to be examined by a doctor.
The family reported in the letter: “On a wipeout her surfboard fin sliced her bicep, she got 10 stitches, but now has some numbness in her arm which is a bit concerning.”
The family states in the letter that they have made appointments with physicians in Hawaii as well, “whom she will see immediately when she gets home.” The letter continues: “We talked to Dr. Rovinsky (Bethany's surgeon after she lost her arm) here on Kauai and he said it's likely that she cut a nerve during the incident, she may have to have surgery to repair it.”
Hamilton posted on her Twitter account earlier on Saturday: “Im coming home, I'm coming home!!!! Let the 40hour journey begin(: I'm ok, healing going fine.”
On Wednesday, Hamilton 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. She is well-known in the Christian community for her outreach work and sharing her faith freely.
In a recent "I Am Second" video, she says, “Being out there in the ocean, God’s creation, it’s like a gift He has given us to enjoy.”
Hamilton has more than 141,000 fans on her Facebook page, many of which are posting well-wishes on her wall since the accident in Indonesia.