The 17-year-old from Florida, whose lower leg was amputated due to her extensive injuries, "got a pass to leave" the hospital to go on her first big public outing on Wednesday. While enjoying her time, the teen happened to pass by a sign about how shark populations are dwindling — and she knew she had to stop and take a photo.
"Addison couldn't help but laugh when she read this sign today during her first trip out since her shark attack. She said she begs to differ with it!" her family wrote in a post on the Fight Like Addison Facebook group.
"Today we finished her therapy sessions and then she got a pass to leave and go into public for a little while for the first time! On our way back to the car we saw this sign in one of the stores at the mall and asked the manager if we could have it," the family member wrote. "There was no way he could have ever said no to this girl's pretty face."
Fight Like Addison Facebook Addison Bethea
Earlier that day, Addison's family said the teen was "making such amazing progress" in physical therapy, which she started last week.
Documenting the teen's latest session, her family said that another physical therapist who works with her just happened to walk by at the time, and Addison "could not wait to show him how far she has come."
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Addison, who "suffered a devastating injury to her upper right leg," while searching for scallops near Keaton Beach on June 30, had her right leg amputated above her knee earlier this month, according to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
Showing how strong she is, Addison took her first steps with the use of a walker just one day after the successful operation.
"Our girl took her first steps today and managed to make it all the way down the hallway!" her family wrote in a July 7 post. "Nothing is going to stop her from gaining back her life."
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Addison Bethea
The hospital where Addison is being treated previously shared that the amputation will allow the teen "to use a prosthesis for her lower leg."
"Surgeons will amputate the leg just above the knee and take muscular tissue and skin from the lower leg to wrap around Addison's femur, reconstructing the upper leg," the hospital shared in a news release.
Opening up about the attack for the first time, Addison previously said that once the shock of what had happened wore off, she immediately tried to take care of the situation.
"I knew that with sharks you're supposed to punch them in the nose to get them off of you," she told CNN.
Although she was unable to free herself, her brother, a firefighter and EMT, quickly rushed into action. In addition to fighting off the shark, he was able to get her onto a nearby boat and helped apply a tourniquet to her wound while they waited for her to be airlifted to the hospital.
"He's always been kind of like a hero to me," Addison recalled. "I knew once I was in trouble, he said he would get me out. He promised. So I expected nothing less."
A GoFundMe has been created to raise funds to cover her medical expenses following the accident. Those interested in donating can do so here.