10-year-old bitten by shark on SC coast talks about experience - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

10-year-old bitten by shark on SC coast talks about experience

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

Monday, we brought you the story of a 10-year-old boy who was bitten by a shark while swimming at a Hilton Head Island beach Sunday. 

We sat down with Jei Turrell's family Tuesday. His mom says he showed nothing but faith and courage when it happened.

Jei has to live with a shark bite for the rest of his life after going to the beach over the weekend. He described the moments as shocking and as a dream. He couldn't believe it was him. After being bitten, he was airlifted to Savannah Memorial immediately and underwent an hour and a half long surgery. They say the shark bit down into the bone of Jei's forearm. He says he didn't feel anything. He just screamed, 'shark!'

"I feel fine. I'm just a bit sore but that's normal. I'm gonna be sore for a while but I feel totally fine. I'm just tired. I think I might go take a nap."

It was just a fun family day at the beach when Jei went for a swim with his oldest brother - until he went about waist deep into the water. 

"I was underwater and I see a shark's mouth, just, it was so quick it just got me and bolted it off and then I kind of picked it up and I was like, I yelled 'shark' and then I ran to my mom and she wrapped it up with a towel that was on her waist," Jei said.

It's a phrase you normally hear in movies, but Sunday, screaming 'shark!' in the midst of fear and tragedy became reality for the Turrell family. 

"It's just that first moment, you know. I froze as you could imagine and Tonya leaped up towards him and did her motherly thing and I grabbed him and I could just see blood everywhere," Jei's father, Paul Turrell, said. 

He was immediately airlifted to Savannah for surgery. 

'When he was on the helicopter, my worst fear, arriving there and them saying, 'I'm sorry. We did all we could do,' said Tonya Turrell. 

Tonya says doctors told her the shark's teeth cut all the way to the bone of Jei's forearm. 

"All he kept on saying, and I'll never forget it is, 'I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming, wake me up, this is a dream,' and we kept on saying, 'no, no no, you've been bitten,' and he goes 'no it's a dream, it couldn't have happened,' and he wasn't crying, which was amazing," Paul Turrell said. 

Jei is looking at the brighter side of things. He says he's alive and he will probably never meet anyone else who has the memory of a shark forever on his arm. 

"Everyone was so impressed with how tough he is."

Jei's parents say they warn other parents to be aware of going too far in the water, and they don't know when they will return to the beach again. Jei says he's looking at the glass half full. He's alive but he has a long road of recovery ahead. 

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.  

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Counterfeit $20 bills in the Marion, IL area

    Counterfeit $20 bills in the Marion, IL area

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 8:02 PM EDT2018-07-19 00:02:05 GMT
    Counterfeit $20 bills are spreading in the Marion area. (Source: KFVS)Counterfeit $20 bills are spreading in the Marion area. (Source: KFVS)

    Counterfeit $20 bills are going around in the Marion area, according to Metropolis Police Department. They ask residents to please pay attention to the money you are receiving.

    Counterfeit $20 bills are going around in the Marion area, according to Metropolis Police Department. They ask residents to please pay attention to the money you are receiving.

  • Herrin PD gets new crime unit to decrease crime

    Herrin PD gets new crime unit to decrease crime

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 7:56 PM EDT2018-07-18 23:56:14 GMT
    Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes. (Source: KFVS)Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes. (Source: KFVS)
    Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes. (Source: KFVS)Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes. (Source: KFVS)

    Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes.

    Herrin Police Department is stepping up its policing efforts with their new unit focused on preventing property crimes.

  • City leaders kickoff talks on indoor aquatic facility in Cape Girardeau

    City leaders kickoff talks on indoor aquatic facility in Cape Girardeau

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 6:32 PM EDT2018-07-18 22:32:54 GMT
    This new aquatic facility will replace the aging Central Municipal Pool which uses an air-inflated structure during it's winter months. (Source: KFVS)This new aquatic facility will replace the aging Central Municipal Pool which uses an air-inflated structure during it's winter months. (Source: KFVS)
    This new aquatic facility will replace the aging Central Municipal Pool which uses an air-inflated structure during it's winter months. (Source: KFVS)This new aquatic facility will replace the aging Central Municipal Pool which uses an air-inflated structure during it's winter months. (Source: KFVS)

    City leaders had their first meeting about the plans to build a new indoor aquatic facility in Cape Girardeau.

    City leaders had their first meeting about the plans to build a new indoor aquatic facility in Cape Girardeau.

Powered by Frankly