Oviedo athlete recovers from shark bite, heads to Junior Olympics

Alysa Whetro has cleared a major hurdle in her young track and field career.

It’s been a little over a year since a shark bite threatened to end her days as a highly-competitive runner and high jumper.   This week, the 14-year-old Oviedo athlete heads to the Junior Olympics in Houston.

When she was bitten, she was preparing to go to the 2015 Junior Olympics.  "I didn't know that I could come back because I thought it was serious, which it kind of was, but I pushed through it and tried to be 100 percent,” Whetro told FOX 35 earlier this month. 

The shark bit halfway through Whetro’s Achilles tendon.  "It was a jagged tooth mark that came to a tripoint of three,” explained Dr. Amber Shane of the Orlando Foot and Ankle Clinic.  "It's not like a clean surgical incision when we go in to repair something like an Achilles tendon rupture in an athlete,” Shane said.

It was important for the wound to heal just right— and with minimal scar tissue—so that Whetro could continue to run and jump at a competitive level. 

Shane said Whetro has healed well, but she may use plastic surgery techniques to clean up more scar tissue when Whetro returns from this year’s Junior Olympics. 

Whetro credits the people around her with getting her back on track.  "I have good coaches and my mom and dad and sisters help me push through,” she said.

In Houston, she will compete in the high jump, 100 meter hurdles, and pentathlon.  “Making the junior Olympics obviously she's done very well with her recovery and may be even better than before,” Shane said.