Published On: Wed, Jul 12th, 2017

North Carolina mom, Tiffany Johnson, discusses miraculous survival of shark attack

Tiffany Johnson was snorkeling off the coast of the Bahamas when she felt the “bump on her arm” which didn’t hurt at first. Shockingly, that “bump” was a shark and her arm was inside of its mouth, glaring at her.

That bump turned out to be a shark, and her arm was in his mouth, and he was, make no mistake, glaring at her.

“My arm was inside the shark’s face, and we were face to face,” Johnson, 32, of Concord, North Carolina, said in the AOL interview.

Great White Shark off Isla Guadalupe, Mexico photo/ Sharkdiver.com

“He wasn’t thrashing; he was just floating there with my arm in his mouth. And it was just this eerie, surreal moment – I remember his eyes looking into my eyes, and I remember my eyes getting big when the realization hit me: ‘Oh my gosh, my arm is in a shark’s mouth.'”

Johnson was enjoying a cruise vacation with her husband when the accident occurred on June 2.

The shark clamped down harder when she tried to pull free and the struggle began, lasting around two minutes.

“Of course I had fear right away, but I had this supernatural determination, like, ‘I’m not going to die here, I refuse,'” says Johnson, a mother of three who credits her faith in God with carrying her through the ordeal. “I kept trying to yank my arm back, and the last time is when he cut it clean off, so when I pulled my arm out of his mouth, it was gone. And I just had this mangled stump.”

When Johnson reflects on what happened next, it’s a cascade of “miracles” – so many that she wants to make a list of them all, big and small, so she doesn’t forget any details: the shark didn’t follow her after she escaped, she was able to stay at the surface throughout the ordeal and this shark was alone, none approached, even when her blood was released into the water.


“When we got into the boat, I could feel a tangible cloud of peace,” Johnson says. “In an even voice, I said, ‘Go get me something to stop the bleeding.’ I was spraying blood everywhere, and my husband was running around frantic. He found a beach towel from the cruise ship, and I told him to wrap it as tightly as he could, but he was wrapping it kind of lose. I said, ‘You’re not going to hurt me’ – I was the one giving him instructions. It doesn’t make sense, but I had this supernatural strength to be able to comprehend and cope and to have a sound mind to be able to do all that.”

Doctors worked to reassign nerves, which controlled the arm and hand, to allow her brain to control the actions of her prosthetic arm.

“When Dr. Loeffler walked in, he told us, ‘I know this sounds weird, but if ever you needed to have an amputation, now is the time, because we’re literally on the cutting edge of everything,'” Johnson recalls. “It’s another miracle! It didn’t happen four years ago when we were snorkeling; it happened now, when I can get the best care.”



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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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