Woman loses forearm in shark attack, believes her story will change lives

A 32-year-old mother of three is lucky to be alive after surviving a shark attack while snorkeling in the Bahamas with her husband close by on the boat.

Tiffany Johnson of Concord, North Carolina, lost her right arm from the hand to the elbow to what she thought was a tiger shark but gained a story she believes will be an inspiration to others.

WSOC-TV has the story:

On the last stop of a cruise last week, Tiffany was snorkeling on a shallow reef when she felt a bump.

"I wasn't in pain, it just felt like I had bumped into something so I just casually turned to my right to look to see and that's when I was face to face with the shark," Tiffany told WSOC. "He had my whole arm in his mouth and he was just floating there, just staring at me.

"I kept trying to yank my hand back and the last time I yanked he had cut it clean off so I was able to actually get free."

Upon hearing her wife’s screams, James Johnson jumped into the water to help her.

"I looked over there and I just saw blood all over in the water, all around her," James told WBTV. "She's saying, 'Help me, help me, Jesus,' and she's praying as she's swimming back."

Tiffany told WSOC she felt "this tangible peace" and was "calm."

More from WSOC:

Doctors in the Bahamas were able to stop the bleeding, but issues with passports and customs had the Johnson's stuck in the Bahamas.

A Medevac flight to Carolinas Medical Center would cost $16,000 out of pocket. But with no guarantees insurance would pay for it, the Medevac company called and agreed to pick up the cost.

"He hung up the phone and we just started weeping," said the Johnsons.

"I'm thankful to be able to share this story and I hope, and I know, that it's going to change people's lives because you can't hear this story and not see God in it," Tiffany said.

Tiffany had two more surgeries at CMC in Charlotte and will have another Friday to prepare the arm for a prosthetic.

"It's by the grace of God she's alive," James told WBTV.

For those wanting to help, a gofundme page has been started.

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