COCOA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) — He’s just 12 years old, and has been surfing half his life.
A Cocoa Beach boy is recovering from multiple surgeries after a shark bit him in New Smyrna Beach.
WESH 2’s Gail Paschall-Brown checked in on him after his fourth surgery.
“I’m feeling pretty good, not much pain at all. All the surgeries went pretty well, so that’s great. That’s really good,” said Jaivon Villamil, 12.
Jaivon had his fourth surgery because of a shark bite to his right leg in New Smyrna Beach on June 14.
“It bit me. It was like a hit, and then it bit. It was coming, so this is me and it like, got me really fast,” Jaivon said.
The last surgery was Monday.
“The nerve came out of here, and they put it into the back of his right leg,” said Jamerica Villamil, the boy’s mother.
The Cocoa Beach boy and his friends went surfing for the first time at New Smyrna Beach, along with surf coach, Charley Hajeck, also known as Gnarly Charley.
He believes this was the culprit.
“He was walking out there, and out of nowhere, he got hit by a bull shark,” Hajeck said.
“I caught a wave and I put my legs down, I put my legs down and I was getting on to my board and I felt like something bite me,” Villamil said.
Hajeck called 911 and rendered aid.
“We stopped the bleeding with a surfboard leash, which was really, really cool, because that’s all we had. It actually worked. It was the best tourniquet you’d ever seen,” Hajeck said.
“I didn’t have any pain because it took out my nerves as soon as it bit me. It bit my nerves and my leg went completely numb, and I had no feeling,” Jaivon said.
But no shark is going to stop him from getting back into the water.
“I’m definitely going to go surfing after this,” Jaivon said. “Because the way I look at it, it was all just a misunderstanding from the shark’s point of view. There was probably so much bait fish around me.”
He’s thankful to all the well-wishers.
“I just want to say thank you everybody who donated and supported me, and came to visit and stuff while I was in the hospital, that was really nice and it helped a lot,” Jaivon said.
His mother says it’s a long road to recovery, but her son’s spirit is high.
Kelly Slater of Cocoa Beach, one of Villamil’s favorite surfers in the world, texted him, too. A friend started a GoFundMe account to help his family pay hospital bills.