On June 30 of 2022, Addison Bethea, of Perry, Florida, was attacked by a shark while scalloping off of Keaton Beach.
Addison was scalloping when she was bitten by a shark estimated to be about 9 feet in length.
The shark was aggressive and attacked her several times until her brother was able to physically separate the shark from his sister.
Thanks to the help of her brother, Rhett Willingham, who is a Firefighter/EMT in Taylor County, and several other local boaters, Addison survived.
They were able to work together to tie a tourniquet to control the bleeding until Addison could be airlifted to the Bixler Trauma & Emergency Center at TMH, the only Level II Trauma Center in the Big Bend Region of Florida.
Addison was recently reunited with the ShandsCair 3 flight crew that transported her from the scene of the call to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
“Flight Nurse Jason Iams, Flight Paramedic Michael Johnson, and Pilot Tom Golden provided outstanding care and rapid transport to Addison during the most critical of times,” said ShandsCair in a statement.
“ShandsCair would like to thank Addison and her family for allowing us to use her case for educational purposes. Later this month, Addison’s case will be presented at The Air Medical Transport Conference in Tampa,” said ShandsCair.
“ShandsCair asked us a few weeks ago if they could share the details of their flight care for Addison on the day of her shark attack. They wanted to do so in order to help educate other helicopter healthcare teams at an upcoming Air Medical Transport conference in Tampa. We did not hesitate at all in saying yes,” said Fight LIke Addison’s Facebook page.
“Today we were honored to be guests for the trial run of the presentation in Gainesville. Not only was it very professional, but it was great to hear the story from the crew’s perspective on the events from that day,” said the group.
“A large focus in this presentation was the necessity to fluid resuscitate a patient before intubating them. When someone has lost the amount of blood as in her case, intubating first can be detrimental. ShandsCair felt that putting a face to this would help better educate healthcare teams.”
“We are forever thankful for the wonderful care that was provided for Addison. Thank you to the flight crew members Tom Golden, Michael Johnson, and Jason Iams. You guys saved our baby girl with your wonderful decisions and care,” said the Fight LIke Addison Facebook page.
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