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Violet Jalil: 4-year-old bitten by shark at bathtub beach returns to beach for first time

Posted at 12:34 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 00:34:54-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- The family of local 4-year-old girl hopes her story of recovery and bravery will help inspire the community.

Less than 4 months after Violet Jalil was bitten by a shark at Bathtub Beach in Martin County, she’s overcoming her fears and she returned to the beach for the first time since her shark bite.

Since Bathtub Beach is temporarily closed, her family and a photographer visited the neighboring beach, only a couple hundred feet away, to document the milestone in Violet’s recovery.

Late August, Violet was bitten by a shark while swimming in shallow water. Her leg was shredded, and Violet went through months of recovery.

It did not take much to get Violet to go to the beach, excited to play in the sand, look for sea shells, and of course, “Mermaids!” Violet said.

“I don’t want her to fear things, I think it’s good for her,” said Violet’s mother, Jessica Veatch.

In fact, the fear was felt more so by Jessica.

“I didn’t know what to expect. A little bit of anxiety,” Veatch said.

She still vividly remembers the day she feared she could have lost her daughter.

They did not go back in the water for the first trip back to the beach, but know that’s the next big step.

“Baby steps, yea,” Veatch said.

Fishermen nearby also kept them out of the water.

“There’s people with lines in the water. Now I know better,” Veatch said.

Veatch fears fishermen near the swimming area at bathtub beach might have attracted the shark that bit her daughter.

Meanwhile, Violet sported her shark bite scar in her swimsuit, staying on the sand, while modeling for a photographer.

“I want her to be able to grow from this and you know, she’s a fearless little girl.”

She put the following quote on a favorite picture captured that day :“From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived."

Since Violet’s shark bite, Martin County Commissioner Ed Ciampi says fishermen have to cast a line at least 50-feet away from swimming areas. If fishing for sharks, those fishermen must be at least 1,000 feet away.