A young shark attack victim is back in a Florida hospital after becoming agitated from a medication intended to relax his muscles, doctors said.
Eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast, who had been getting well at his home in Ocean Springs, Miss., since Aug. 12, was brought back to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital by ambulance Monday. He remains in a light coma.
"Jessie has continued to make slow progress since he went home, and this return to the hospital should not be seen as a significant setback," said Dr. Ben Renfroe, a pediatric neurologist. "Everyone felt it would be best to have him back in the hospital for a few days to do another neurological evaluation and get his medications adjusted."
Renfroe said the boy was in stable condition and could likely be taken home later in the week.
Jessie suffered massive blood loss and brain injuries from the July 6 attack. The shark bit the boy's thigh and severed his arm, which doctors were able to reattach.
His aunt and uncle expressed thanks to others who came to the aid of their nephew in an open letter published in Tuesday editions of the Pensacola News Journal. It is the first time the couple, Diana and Vance Flosenzier of Mobile, Ala., have commented on the attack.
"It has been a bittersweet homecoming because, although we are very happy at the progress Jessie has made, we do not yet know how fully he will recover," the Flosenziers wrote. "Jessie is still not able to move very much or communicate, and he requires constant care."
Shark fears have been heightened by other attacks this summer. Two Americans were attacked this month in the Bahamas. One man's leg was amputated, and another man suffered a serious leg injury. And surfers were bitten by swarming sharks in Daytona Beach, Fla., last weekend.
Editor's Note: Donations can be made to The Jessie Arbogast Medical Fund, account number 012428229, c/o Hancock Bank, P.O. Drawer 609, Ocean Springs, Miss. 39566.