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Violet Jalil: 4-year-old bitten by shark at Bathtub Beach recovering at home

Posted at 11:41 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 04:29:00-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- She is just 4-years-old, but already proving to be a fighter.

Violet Jalil is back at home from the hospital after being bitten by a shark in late August at Bathtub Beach in Stuart.

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Since the day she was attacked, she has defied doctor’s expectations.

“She was there for a little over a week,” said her mother, Jessica Veatch. Doctors originally expected her to be hospitalized for a month. “She’s just an amazing little girl like that, you know?”

Now, she is getting around with a wheelchair and a walker, but does not seem to mind.

“She’s very active,” Veatch said. 

Jessica says she brought her three children to the beach in August, like she has done many times.

The day Violet was attacked, Veatch says Violet dropped her sunglasses in the water. Veatch was looking in the water for the sunglasses, when she heard a bone chilling scream.

“I just hear a scream and then ‘Mommy!’ And then I go to see what’s wrong and there was just blood all in the water. I picked her up and the meat was hanging off her leg.”

Veatch rushed her daughter out of the water.  Veatch said a doctor happened to be at the beach and lifeguards helped Violet before rescue crews arrived to race her to the hospital.

Violet underwent surgery and had to receive more than 100 stitches.

“It was horrific,” Veatch said of the attack.

But Violent doesn’t seem as bothered, Veatch said. “She’s kind of like, look! I got a shark bite!”

Pictures show Violet smiling during her hospital stay. She even made friends with the doctors and nurses.

“Joe!” Violet yelled. “You like Nurse Joe,” Veatch laughed.

Now, just days after her fourth birthday, Violet is getting a little extra attention, enjoying riding around in her wheel chair, and proud to show off her brace.

Veatch is happy to see her daughter recovering, though she says Violet may experience issues with her growth plate in the future.

She also wants more answers surrounding her daughter’s attack, specifically wanting to know who was spear fishing near the beach before her daughter’s attack.

“I think somebody should be responsible for what happened to my daughter,” Veatch said. “That was not unprovoked.”

Veatch says Violet’s doctor is matching the bacteria in her wound to the bacteria found in specific sharks’ mouths, wanting to determine what kind of shark might have bitten Violet.

In October, Veatch says Violet will be meeting with more doctors who should help determine what kind of physical therapy she will need moving forward, and when she will be able to walk without assistance.