A shark attack victim is recovering in the hospital after being bitten in waters off Oahu’s North Shore.
Twenty-five-year-old Colin Cook encountered a shark at popular surf spot Leftovers Friday morning.
Cook is currently recovering at Queen’s Medical Center, where doctors amputated most of his left leg. His hands were also injured when he punched the shark before it swam away.
The family said Cook is fighting “as hard as one man can fight” after such a traumatic incident. While he is making a lot of progress, doctors are worried about infection.
Cook’s father Glenn Cook said “‘see this, Dad? This is what beat up the shark. His knuckles were all bloody. Colin Cook: 1, Shark, 0.”
He said his son’s positive outlook is what’s keeping himself sane, and it all started when he first got the terrifying phone call no parent ever wants to take.
“He was going into the ambulance. I didn’t know whether he was going to live or die. Five minutes later, he called me from the hospital, and said ‘Dad, don’t worry about me, just get over here.'”
And he did. The family flew in from the East Coast and rushed to Colin’s side.
They said the reality of what happened is settling in. Rebuilding Colin’s life back to normal will be a challenge, but the surfer is handling it, as he said, “as good as someone who lost their leg and got into a fight with a shark.”
“He’s only alive because of everybody on that North Shore who came to his rescue,” said Glenn Cook.
Colin’s cousin, Chris Webster, said doctors had to amputate Colin’s left leg, above the knee. “They took the bandages off his leg today, and his leg looks phenomenal,” he said. “No sign of infection.”
But that’s not the main concern right now. Webster said Colin’s hand “is their biggest concern right now. He’s missing the top of his middle finger, and he’s got probably close to 300 stitches throughout his hand. That’s what they’re worried about, infections on his hand.”
Colin, however, is making progress. “Today, we got him to take four steps in the morning,” said Webster. “This afternoon, we got him on a walker, he walked out of his room, walked back to his bedroom.”
And despite the terrifying ordeal, surfing is still Colin’s passion.
“His passion is here,” said Glenn Cook. “Whether we bring him home for a couple months, get him back on his foot … I can’t even say feet … at least now he has a little humor now. When I brought out socks, he says ‘Dad, it’s a sock, not socks.’ So he’s already accepting of the fact his little steps there.”