STUART, Fla. - Speaking from his bed at Shands Medical Center in Jacksonville, Clayton Schulz sounds weak, but tries to stay positive about his medical outlook.
"I’m doing all right, I’m hanging in there. I’ll be in the hospital for a little while longer. I have one more surgery," said Schulz, 20, a pitcher for the University of North Florida baseball team.
He says doctors added more than 400 stitches to his left foot. He underwent 5 1/2 hours of surgery on Friday and is receiving a morphine drip for the pain.
All of this after Schulz says he was bitten by a shark wile surfing on Jacksonville Beach near Seventh Street South.
"The shark grabbed me and shook his head a little bit, and I think he kind of realized that he was biting the wrong thing, so he let go," said Schulz.
"His leg looks like a patchwork quilt," said Clayton's mother, Greta Schulz. "A whole bunch of pieces of skin and cartilage all put together."
She says doctors have reattached all but one of the tendons in her son's foot.
Now the young athlete and his family are wondering what this wound will mean for his future in baseball.
"The diagnosis is strong he'll be able to go back to baseball," said Greta Schulz. "But he can't lean on his foot for a month. And they say he may have some permanent numbness" in his foot.
Clayton Schulz grew up in Stuart and played baseball for South Fork High School, where he graduated in 2008. He says he expects to return to Stuart for rehabilitation on his foot for the next month before he starts the new semester at U.N.F.
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