Shark bite victim recovering after stitches

44-year-old bitten in foot at Jacksonville Beach last week

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A week after being bitten by a shark at Jacksonville Beach, a Westside woman said she's healing and facing the road ahead.

Mimi Cosa, 44, was attacked last week near 34th Street South while wading in thigh-deep water.

"Dr. Hastings said that it's pretty good, looks good," Cosa said of her follow-up appointment.

That was the news she'd been praying for after receiving 21 stitches last week. She won't need surgery, but she said she's more than ready to be able to move on her own.

"My husband like carries me up, we go down," Cosa said. "I'm like, 'I'm hungry. I want to go there.' I cannot do nothing without their help. But I'm lucky that everybody loves me and takes care of me."

Cosa was at the beach with her mother at the time of the attack. Experts believe the guilty party was a small sandbar or dogfish shark.

Cosa recalls that moment when she was in the water and realized what had happened.

"I just felt something bite me," she said. "I was thinking it was a crab. It was like, it was sharp. I didn't think it was a shark. But he didn't want to let go, so I said, 'Yeah, it's a shark.'"

Cosa said there were moments when she couldn't feel her pinky toe at all. She also never imagined something like this would happen to her.

"When an accident happens, you just like, everything shuts down because you cannot do things people think you can do, but it's not true because your blood is flowing down and you feel like the blood comes to your stitches," Cosa said.

She's focused now on getting better, warning others to be careful at the beach and thanking her lucky stars this injury wasn't worse. More than anything, she's not afraid to get back in the water. She's even got a few words for that shark.

"I'll go on the beach and I'll say, 'Where is that shark? Come out. I want to see you. Why did you bite me?'" Cosa said.

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