The 8-year-old boy whose arm was torn off by a shark earlier this month has suffered a setback in his recovery.
Doctors reported Monday that Jessie Arbogast, of Ocean Springs, Miss., is suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. The boy was given two units of blood "as a pre-emptive measure." Doctors said it will be some time before they know if he sustained brain damage.
News of the internal bleeding comes after reports of another attack just six miles from the spot Jessie was bitten. A 48-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was surfing off Santa Rosa Island Sunday when a shark bit him on the leg, causing puncture wounds, said Lt. Bob Clark of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. The man was listed in good condition at an area hospital.
The man told witnesses he had noticed small fish and a large shadow below him, but didn't think anything was wrong until he was attacked.
The July 6 attack on Jessie shocked the beach-going nation, as the boy was swimming in shallow water that was supposedly free of sharks. Despite his bleak condition following the attack, doctors appeared optimistic about his recovery before the latest setback.
Jessie sometimes appeared to understand what was going on around him, according to the medical team that reattached his arm after a 200 pound bull shark attacked him, also taking a large bite out of his thigh. Dr. Juliet DeCampos said the boy seemed to be responding to family and doctors after days of being in what was described as a light coma. And on Sunday he squeezed the hand of relatives in response to being asked.
Jessie's favorite candy bar may have brought more progress in communicating. DeCampos said the boy's grandfather told her Jessie "would do anything for a Snickers bar."
"So I gave that a shot," the doctor said.
"I brought in a Snickers bar and I saw Jessie's eyes were open and so I dangled it before him, and his eyes fixed on that Snickers bar, and sort of followed it around, and he almost seemed to try and form a word like 'Give me that Snickers bar,'" DeCampos said.
"But he didn't actually say that, I'm sorry."
Jessie was attacked by a 7-foot bull shark at the Gulf Islands National Seashore as he played in knee-deep water at dusk. The loss of nearly all his blood damaged his organs.
Jessie's uncle wrestled the shark to shore after the attack and a ranger shot the shark four times with a 9 mm pistol. After the ranger pried the shark's jaw open with a police baton, a volunteer firefighter used a clamp to pull the boy's severed arm out of its gullet.
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old tourist from Cincinnati was bitten on the foot Sunday by a 3-foot shark while riding a boogie board off Amelia Island, about 38 miles north of Jacksonville, officials said.
Tim Flanigan was treated in the emergency room Monday morning at Shands Jacksonville hospital, an official said. His condition was not immediately available, she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.