Dismiss Modal
This procedure will allow Bethea, 17, to use a prosthesis for her lower right leg
Addison Bethea prior to surgery to amputate leg at TMH

Addison Bethea with her parents, Michelle Murphy and Shane Bethea, prior to leg amputation and reconstruction surgery at TMH on July 6, 2022.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 6, 2022) – Addison Bethea, 17, of Perry, Florida, is recovering at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) after a successful surgery today to amputate her right leg just above the knee following a shark attack on Thursday, June 30.

Bethea, daughter of Shane Bethea and Michelle Murphy, gave her family a big smile as she was wheeled into her room in TMH’s pediatric unit at about 2:30 pm following surgery.

She was scalloping when she was attacked off the coast of Keaton Beach, about 80 miles southeast of Tallahassee. She suffered devastating injury to her upper right leg, including the loss of her quadriceps, the four muscles in the front of the thigh that work together to keep the kneecap stable and allow for lower leg extension. The bite also caused massive nerve and vascular damage.

Surgeons at TMH have been working since Bethea arrived to save as much of her leg as possible and to optimize her long-term mobility. Her first surgery at TMH made today’s successful amputation of her lower leg and reconstruction of her upper leg possible.

During that first surgery, surgeons skillfully restored blood flow to Bethea’s lower leg by rebuilding the blood vessels. This procedure preserved the muscular tissue and skin of her lower leg, keeping it alive and making it possible to use this tissue in reconstruction today.

“Saving the tissue of the lower leg was paramount in today’s surgery even being possible,” her dad, Shane Bethea, said. “The surgeons and the medical staff can’t get enough praise from us for the wonderful care of our baby girl. We are so thankful that she ended up here at TMH.”

Bethea has a long road to recovery that will require extensive rehabilitation, but her family says she is remaining strong and upbeat.

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been established to help Bethea and her family. It is titled, “Medical Expenses for Addison Bethea, Shark Attack.” Her family has also started a Facebook page, Fight Like Addison, where they will post periodic updates on her progress.

Bethea’s family would like to thank their community in Taylor County and people from across the nation and world who have reached out offering their prayers and support during this difficult time.

Bethea is not receiving visitors at this time while she recovers from surgery. The family requests all media inquiries be made through the Marketing and Communications Department of TMH.


About Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

Founded in 1948, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is a private, not-for-profit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision to elevate the standards of healthcare practice, quality and innovation in the region. Serving a 21-county area in North Florida, South Georgia and South Alabama, TMH is comprised of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, 38 affiliated physician practices and partnerships with Alliant Management Services, Apalachee Center, Calhoun Liberty Hospital, Capital Health Plan, Doctors’ Memorial Hospital, Florida State University College of Medicine, Radiology Associates, University of Florida Health, Weems Memorial Hospital and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit TMH.ORG.

Content Apps ID
External ID
Integration Source
Integration Source URL