EIGHT-year-old boy attacked by shark in Florida now suffering from kidney failure

Monday, July 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ An 8-year-old boy whose arm was reattached after a shark attack was suffering from kidney failure.

Jesse Arbogast of Ocean Springs, Miss., was in critical but stable condition late Sunday after undergoing dialysis, officials at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital said.

The boy was moved to Sacred Heart because Baptist Hospital, where surgeons reattached his arm, is not equipped to treat kidney problems, said Sacred Heart spokesman Clay DeStefano.

``It was decided this morning based on the seriousness of his condition that he needed to be transferred here,'' DeStefano said Sunday.

The boy was attacked Friday evening while swimming at Gulf Islands National Seashore near Fort Pickens in the Florida Panhandle.

His uncle wrestled the 7-foot-long bull shark to shore.

``He's a big guy. He got hold of it and tossed it ashore,'' District Ranger Supervisor John Bandurski said.

Ranger Jared Klein then shot the shark four times with a 9mm pistol, and pried its jaw open with a police baton. Volunteer firefighter Tony Thomas used a clamp to pull the boy's severed arm out of the shark's gullet.

The boy had no pulse and no blood pressure when he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital about 30 minutes after the attack, said Dr. Jack Tyson.

Ian Rogers, the plastic surgeon who helped reattach the arm, had said he was hopeful the boy could regain near normal use of his arm in 12 to 18 months, with extensive therapy.