Teen bitten by shark readmitted to hospital

By Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter, hwinslow@wjxt.com
Published On: Jun 28 2013 11:22:35 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 28 2013 11:22:50 AM EDT

Colleen Malone dons a pink cast on her foot after being bitten by a shark.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -

A 19-year-old woman bitten by a shark earlier this week has been readmitted to the hospital.

Colleen Malone, who was bitten on the foot, said doctors told her at her checkup visit two days following the bite that there was a 50-50 chance of infection.

Malone, her cousin and friend were body surfing and playing in the waves in water about 4 feet deep on Tuesday at Jacksonville Beach. They had only been out there for about an hour when all of a sudden a few feet in front of her a fin popped up.

IMAGES: 19-year-old bitten by shark at Jax Beach

"When I saw the chunks missing from my foot, I knew that it wasn't good," Malone said.

The Georgia Southern University sophomore was just beginning her vacation.

She was on Ninth Street South around noon Tuesday when she was bitten.

"I see these fins come out of the water, like kind of sideways, and I freaked out," Malone said.

She started swimming on her back.

"All of a sudden I see this shark just come up and bite my foot," she said.

She swam as fast as she could to shore.

"I must, at some point, must've kicked it off my foot or it just let go," Malone said. "But I was so freaked out that I didn't really think about it, and when I got into more shallow water, I started to run, and I felt that one of my toes felt like it was kind of of like off. So I lifted up my foot to check that everything was OK and it wasn't OK."

Malone's guessing, but she thinks she was bitten by a 3-foot bull shark.

"At first I was hyperventilating and freaking out, but then while I was sitting there waiting for the lifeguards, I looked at my friend and I started laughing, and I was like, 'Dude, I just got bit by a shark,'" Malone said.

She said sharks have always been her worst fear.

"My friends thought I was kidding, so they were like, 'Yeah, right,' because like five minutes before, we were like, 'Oh, just imagine all the sharks swimming around us,'" Malone said. "And I was like, 'Alright, you guys stop.' And then five minutes later a shark attacks me."

Malone got more than 50 stitches and will have a pretty gnarly tale and story to take back to college.

She's expected to be on crutches for the next few weeks.

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