Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A tribute to my son

Im here in the hospital with my son, Nicholas, who was bitten by a bull shark on Thursday evening. We were finishing off a perfect day with full limits of trout in the morning by taking the family and friends to Sunday Beach for an afternoon of relaxation and fun in the sun. As usual, the kids wanted to go play in the surf, so my friend, his three kids and me with my two youngest went across the island to the surf. I stuck back in the first gut with my 10 year old daughter while my friend took the older kids out to the sand bar to try and catch some waves body surfing. The surf was pretty calm so they didn't have any luck and were standing around when Nicholas was grabbed by the shark , which tried to shake his foot loose from his leg. My friend caught Nicholas and pulled him back away from the attack and immediately headed to shore with him, all 150 lbs, in his arms. I turned around to see all the commotion and to my horror saw my sons severed foot. We immediately headed back across the island and into Capt. Whites Shoalwater with a 300 hp that got us 7 miles back to the fishing center in about 8 minutes. They careflighted Nicholas to Houston Children's Hospital, while me and his mother drove the 150 miles here, the longest and scariest ride a parent can make. Nicholas has had two surgeries so far and three more are scheduled to put his foot back together. His mother and I are just grateful that he is here with us! 
Nicholas is one of the best fishermen i know, he often out fishes most of the adults that go with us. He is always careful to wear his ray guards while we are wading, and always keeps his stringer away from him. He has lost a lot of fish to black tips who want his fish more then him! Every time we go flounder gigging, he takes his bow to shoot sheephead while we gig flounder. He has even been finned in the leg when I threw a sheephead in the boat and it came off the gaff. He has fell and cut his hands on oysters, been stuck with a hard head, and stuck by a hook. all the things an avid fisherman has endured through out his fishing experiences. He even has been sea sick after battling a big amberjack, he said that he just got to hot,ha ha…..He is one tough kid.
I just wanted to share this with everyone to let you all know that anything , even a 1 in 11 million shark attack can happen. 
Hug your kids today and tell them you love them.
P.S. He cant wait to get back on the water!


  1. Hi there,

    Saw you guys on the Today Show. He seems very brave! I hope he has a speedy recovery.

    Stephanie in Kansas City

  2. Nicholas, we are so proud of how brave you are and the manner in which you are handeling this. We were excited to see you smiling on the Today Show this morning, even though you are in tremendous pain. Keep up the positive attitude and the pain will be much easier to handle. To my Brother and his family, you guys are such of a Loving family, your prayers and Love has really inspired a lot of us, and has shown us that almost anything can be overcome. I know there is a long road ahead for recovery, however I also know it will be a road filled with Love and Concern from all of us and your incredible support.

    Nicholas, pretty soon you will be pulling them out of the water again, God Bless and you are in our prayers.

    Uncle Brooks,Tiffany,Karlie,Hayden and Grant

  3. I couldn't believe it when my mom (Wendy Neidigk) told me what had happened! We have been thinking & praying for y'all- comfort, strength, and fast recovery.

  4. I just read the article based on the Today show appearance. God was definitely with all of you and you have a remarkable story. My prayers will be with you Nicholas, and your family, as you recover. May God use you as a light for Him as you share this amazing story!

    Trudy Tilseth

  5. You are a brave boy, proud of you for fighting to hang on, a wound like that has cost bigger and stronger folks their lives just bleeding out, so you hold your head up son. I know these days are hard Nicky, pain sucks, especially a lot of it, but it won't last. After a few days it'll hurt a little less, and a little less..I know about pain Nicky, I got run down by a truck on my motorcycle and blew 10 discs in my back, and I'm a grown man. When it comes, you'll feel it, but try to keep it outside you, this is a little hard to explain as only people who live with severe chronic pain (that means we always feel like this Nicky), here's how we do it: The pain is in your foot, keep it there, imagine your foot is something you own, but barely part of you. Think about it as a small, small thing trying to penetrate it's way into a big strong boy. Is there anything the size of your shoe you couldn't beat in a fight? No. So this can't either. There are those of us that feel like you do now in our whole bodies and we block it out so it's still there, but more annoying than terrible pain, so you can do this. I know it hurts, I won't tell you it won't hurt tomorrow, but know at the end of each day it will hurt less very soon. Just don't let your foot "inside you", it's only a small piece of you, keep the pain there in your foot. Get mad at it if it makes you feel better, we do that too on bad days, it helps also. Know there are so many people thinking about you, wishing you heal fast. Oh, there's a pretty cool benefit to this, you'll have the most awesome story to tell for the rest of your life and girls love scars (-;/ (true fact) By the way, sharks are amazing creatures, I don't imagine you like them much now, but when this is over, I bet it will help you heal "inside" to study them, I've scuba dove with a Tiger (not on purpose (-;/ which is a predator similar to your Bull. I hope you get to see one i the water protected one day, you will never forget it. Tell Mom and Dad there is a very famous oceanographer who was attacked by a Bull while standing in the water with them, bet he'd talk to you, email me if you want to contact him Keep the pain in your foot Nicky, it is not welcome inside your "core"
    God Bless you Big Man!