PENSACOLA, Fla. – The 8-year-old boy who had an arm reattached after a shark attack in the Florida Panhandle is awake and aware of the people around him, his doctor said Friday.
"He's awake as opposed to being asleep," Dr. Ian Rogers told NBC's Today show. "His ability to focus on people and objects, it originally was not too good and now it's picking up and he's beginning to focus quite well."
Jessie Arbogast's kidney function has improved to the point that he no longer needs dialysis, Rogers said.
The boy still remains in a light coma, however.
"His neurological condition is progressing slowly, but nonetheless in a positive direction," Rogers said. "He's got a long road ahead of him still."
Jessie was attacked by a 6-foot bull shark at Langdon Beach near Pensacola on July 6. His uncle wrestled the shark to shore, and Jesse's arm was retrieved from its jaws. Doctors reattached it during 11 hours of surgery.
Jessie also had a severe bite to a leg.
"He'll have a functional deficit," Rogers said. "He'll have some difficulty straightening up his knee. He's lost a large volume of the muscles in his thigh that perform this function."
But skin grafts covering the large wound on his leg have fully taken, Rogers said.