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Jessie Arbogast

Shark Victim

Born: c. 1993
Birthplace: Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Best known as: The boy whose arm was bitten off by a shark
8-year-old Jessie Arbogast was swimming in the ocean near Pensacola, Florida on 6 July 2001 when a 200-pound bull shark bit off his right arm. Arbogast's uncle, Vance Flosenzier, wrestled the shark out of the water; a park ranger shot the shark and Arbogast's arm was pulled from the shark's gullet. Arbogast was airlifted to the hospital, and doctors reattached the arm during 11 hours of surgery. Arbogast was released from the hospital on 12 August 2001 and readmitted for brief stays later in the year. The prognosis for his long-term recovery is uncertain. A 2004 article in the Pensacola News-Journal reported that Arbogast was using a wheelchair and had trouble communicating, but was "growing like a weed." An update on his condition in 2009 indicated he was permanently disabled in the attack, but getting along fine with the help of his parents.
Extra credit: A rumor that the uncle was shark fishing at the time of the incident was declared a hoax by Florida newspapers.

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