A doctor caring for shark attack victim Leeanne Ericson said at a press conference, Tuesday, June 20, that her patient has feeling in her right leg, after her injury at San Onofre State Beach on April 29.
Dr. Gail Tominaga, Ericson’s admitting trauma surgeon at Scripps Health in La Jolla, said when Ericson was first brought in she was unstable and doctors were “not sure if she was going to survive.”
Ericson was bit by the shark from her right glute down her leg.
“She has been able to get up and has feeling in her leg,” Tominaga said. “Her emotions and spirit are positive and optimistic. She’s pretty amazing for all that she’s been through.”
Tominaga reviewed the immediate care Ericson received when she arrived at the trauma center.
Ericson was listed as unstable and needed transfusions because of blood loss. She also had to be put on antibiotics for atypical infections “due to the ocean waters and shark’s mouth.”
During her recovery, she’s had six plastic surgeries, and repairs to her sciatic nerve were done on May 8. She had skin grafting on May 19 to close her wounds.
She has soft tissue loss and weakness in her leg, and no sensation in her foot along with foot drop. “That has been improving, slowly,” Tominaga said. “That is going to take some time.”
Ericson has been able to walk using a brace.
“She’s been amazing, she works very hard and she’s been very optimistic. Friends and family have kept her optimistic,” Tominaga said.
Ericson told doctors her three children are “all doing fine and she’s finding positiveness in all the support she’s getting.”
She is the second shark attack victim in local waters in less than a year, and experts and longtime lifeguards say they are seeing more sharks close to shore than ever before. Ericson was attacked while swimming near her boyfriend, who was surfing, at Church surf spot at Camp Pendleton…