MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Walking slowly and steadily, Lacy Webb Martin, from Dallas, is ready to tell the story of her vacation—which quite quickly turned into a tale of survival.
Webb said she wants to get her story out to serve as an inspiration for others going through trying times.
Three weeks ago, Webb was snorkeling with her husband, Britt Martin, in the Bahamas when a shark, which experts believe was an 8-foot bull shark, took a five-pound bite of skin, fat and muscle from her torso.
“The shark hit me from behind I knew immediately that it was a shark bite and I also in the top point of my mind realized my husband was in the water so when I surfaced I knew that I had to very clearly communicate what was going on to get my husband out of the water and then I had to get my face back in the water so I could swim for the boat,” Webb said.
“When she pulled herself up I saw how severe the situation was and knew we had to act quick because it was a life and death situation,” says her husband Britt Martin.
Webb was airlifted to Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital where doctors stitched her shark wound. A team of doctors and nurses controlled the bleeding and began stitching the gaping wound. Inside the wound they found a tooth from the shark embedded in her body.
“The amount of tissue destroyed was dramatic,” said trauma surgeon Dr. Andrew Rosenthal.
“It’s a big change to my body that I haven’t had but really I wear it as a badge of honor,” Webb said. “Everyday that I’m on earth is a new and exciting day and a it’s a day for me to fight and live-on and I’m proud of it.”
She has been undergoing intensive rehab but there is still a long road ahead which includes reconstructive surgeries and physical therapy.
“There’s been an enormous team of people who have been caring for her. I think that the resources that are here at Memorial are just the kind of infrastructure that we really need in order to put people back together–in not just a physical way, but in a spiritual and emotional way as well,” said Dr. Rosenthal.
Hospital staff are in awe of Webb’s positive attitude and calmness under pressure.
“I think you would make a great trauma surgeon,” said Dr. Rosenthal to Webb at a news conference.”That composure is something that makes the difference between survival and death sometimes.”
Despite Webb’s experience, she is not afraid to go back in the water. In fact, she said she has a new found respect for sharks.
“I really think my faith pulled me through this…I had faith, and I had a peace and calmness that I was in God’s hands and that I was being taken care of. The right people were sent to me.”
Webb plans on having the shark’s tooth, that was found in her body, turned into a piece of jewelry.
Webb, anxious to get home, will most likely return to her home in Dallas, Texas later this week.