Lucy Art: Teen who almost lost her hand in savage shark attack becomes swimming champion
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: Just 20 months after a brutal shark attack, high school champion Lucy Art won the WIAA State Swimming 50 Free title. Art swims for the University School of Milwaukee.
Art was on a spring break in Florida swimming with her cousins when a black tip shark bit her wrist and legs. She almost lost her hand in the attack and still has shark teeth in her legs.
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“I felt something hit my legs and I thought it was my cousin,” Art told TMJ4 News. It was only after the shark jumped out of the water that Art realised what it was. Art’s right hand was in the shark’s mouth and her life was in danger as she could have bled out. "I thought I was going to pass out going to the ambulance. I could not walk," she said.
The early prognosis wasn't good as the damage was severe. Her recovery was in doubt. "I really just didn't think that my hand was ever going to work the same again,” she said.
"And like during rehab, that's when I was like contemplating my swim career and if I would ever swim again. I just didn't see myself getting better," she added.
Art admits that she didn’t think about swimming in college and the attack gave her the motivation to do that and be better. She said, "I think the whole shark attack actually gave me motivation to want to swim in college. Motivation really to do better and that I can be better."
Art also talked about revisiting the beach where she was attacked and how it was hard for her, saying, “I’ve only been in the ocean once since then and I actually went to the same beach. That was hard.”