LAKE MARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It has been six months since a Colorado tourist who was visiting Florida was attacked by a shark off Cocoa Beach.
Jill Kruse, 29, suffers from nerve and tendon damage and is in extreme pain, but she says her job as a physical therapist assistant has actually helped her deal with recovery.
Kruse was taking a dip in the water, when she suddenly felt something biting her leg. "We were there for 40 minutes and that's when I got attacked by the shark," she said. "I hit it off and then I started screaming for help because I knew something was wrong. I couldn't stand on my right leg."
At the time, the visitor from Colorado Springs didn't know what it was. "I did not see the shark, the water was really murky," she said. "I think it was more natural instinct. I felt really bad pain and I just reached down to see what it was, I didn't realize I was punching a shark."
Kruse and her friends think the shark may have been five to six feet in length. "I didn't know it was a shark, until I got on land. I had no idea what bite me I just know it hurt real bad," she said. "It bit me on the right calf and it basically ripped my whole calf off my leg, it was still hanging there a little bit by my Achilles tendon by the ankle."
She's grateful to her family, friends and paramedics who helped care for her. "You just got to keep in mind there's always someone worse off than you. There's people who won't be able to walk the rest of their lives, and I just have to sit out for a year, so I try to keep that in mind and it helps me get through the day."
When asked if she would ever go back in the water, she replied, "I think so. It was kind of a freak accident. As long as I can see below me, and the water's not murky! I've learned my lesson on that."