Tonight, Robin Roberts reports Shark Attack, the story about Paige Winter, a young woman who was bitten by a shark and had her leg amputated in 2019. She also lost part of her hand from the attack.
Paige Winter is now 17 years old and spends much of her time hanging out with her boyfriend and her ferret, according to the New Bern Sun Journal. She still loves the ocean and advocates for protection and respect for marine life.
Winter was attacked by a bull shark while swimming near Fort Macon Park. She tried to get away from the animal, prying its mouth open with her hands, but when that didn’t work, her father grabbed ahold of it and started punching it to get it off of her. When she got out of the water, Winter was taken to the hospital where she had her leg and two fingers from her left hand amputated.
Read on to learn more about where the shark attack survivor is today.
She Is Recovering From Hand Surgery
According to The New Bern Sun Journal, Winter is currently still recovering from repeated operations on her hand. Doctors hope that, with time and surgery, they will help her heal and gain mobility with her remaining fingers.
She believes her dad’s efforts the day of the attack saved her life. Charlie Winter is a Marine Corps veteran as well as a firefighter and parametic.
“I think my dad is like a real actual hero, you know?” Winter said on Good Morning America. “He goes and saves lives every day. He does all the things he can. He does his job really well.”
Paige Winter Graduated from High School This Year
According to her Instagram, which humorously has “Shark Bait,” in the bio, Winter graduated from high school in 2020.
“Ignore my terrible extension blend,” she wrote in a post showing her in her cap and gown. “I made it! I actually graduated on June 3rd (one day after my 1yr sharkiversary), but I’m v v happy I don’t have to wake up so early. I do be missing theatre doe.”
She also got a service dog named Otis, who came to live with her in early August.
“After such a long week, I have some news for y’all,” she wrote on August 31. “These past 4 days Otis has finally come to move in with us! He loves to snug & look at the cats. I’d really like to thank Highland Canine Connect a trillion times, Otis’ presence will bring me great joy, confidence, and much needed help.”
She Still Speaks to Robert Downey Jr.
After news of Winter’s attack broke and stories about her leg being amputated began to make national headlines, Robert Downey Jr. heard that Winter was a huge Iron Man fan. In June 2019, he sent her a video, inviting her to become the North Carolina representative of his Footprint Coalition.
The foundation aims to use robots and nanotechnology to clean up the planet. Winter told the New Bern Sun Journal that she still talks to Downey Jr., saying they “text all the time now.”
She said she wants to one day be a singer like Ariana Grande, and she’s hoping that her dream will come true. She was active in theater and chorus during her high school career and has since learned to dance in her prosthetics.
Tune in to Shark Attack: The Paige Winter Story tonight, September 10, 2020 at 10 p.m. on ABC.