Heartfelt update from mother of 30A victims of shark attack

Ann Blair Gribbin’s emotional Facebook post detailing the horrific shark attack on her daughter, Lulu Gribbin, has spread like wildfire on social media, garnering widespread support and prayers for the young girl.

On June 5, what started as a joyous mother-daughter beach outing at Rosemary Beach took a tragic turn. Ann, Lulu and Ellie, Lulu’s twin sister, were friends when the unimaginable happened. As they walked along the beach, they noticed a crowd watching the water. Panic ensued when Ann’s friend couldn’t reach her daughters, sparking a frantic search.

Ann soon found Lulu surrounded by people on the ground, her daughter’s body pale and lifeless. Lulu had suffered serious injuries following a shark attack, losing her left hand and requiring the amputation of her right leg. Despite losing two thirds of her blood, Lulu miraculously survived, thanks to the immediate intervention of passers-by who applied tourniquets to her and the rapid action of the emergency services.

In her Facebook post, Ann described the terror and helplessness she felt as they rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, praying for Lulu’s survival. Lulu’s strength showed when she woke up from surgery, her first words being, “I did it.” Her bravery and resilience in recounting the attack was remarkable; she remembers being bitten on the hand and leg and thanks a man and a young boy for bringing her to safety.

Ann’s gratitude was evident as she thanked everyone involved in Lulu’s rescue, from the beachgoers who provided first aid to the hospital medical team. She expressed her deep thanks for the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and strangers, acknowledging the long road ahead to recovery.

“Sweet Lulu is more worried about her friends than she is about herself, which is a testament to her character,” Ann wrote, asking for continued prayers for Lulu’s strength, healing and acceptance. She urged the community to show understanding and compassion towards Lulu as she navigates her new reality.

Ann’s heartfelt news not only brought attention to the dangers of shark encounters, but also the importance of prayer for one’s family in the face of adversity. As Lulu continues her recovery, the Gribbin family remains hopeful and grateful for the love and support around them.

The shark attack occurred in a rare series of incidents along the Florida Panhandle. Lulu was one of two teenage girls injured in the attacks, which also seriously injured a 45-year-old woman. Beaches have since reopened with warnings and authorities continue to monitor the coastline for shark activity.

See the full shark attack story here via The Pensacola News Journal.

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Gallery credit: Katherine Gallagher