Mother of Walton County shark attack victim posts update on daughter’s condition

(WDHN) — The mother of one of the teenagers attacked by a shark in Walton County Friday provided an update on her daughter’s condition.

On Friday, three shark attacks were reported at two beaches located approximately six kilometers apart. The first attack took place at Watersound Beach, the victim was a 45-year-old woman who lost the lower part of her left hand. She is in stable condition.

The second and third attacks occurred shortly afterward, about 4 miles away near Seacrest Beach, where a 15- and 17-year-old girl from Mountain Brook, Alabama, were bitten. The two teens were identified as Lulu Gribbin and McCray Faust. Gribben suffered serious injuries to her upper leg and hand, while Faust suffered minor injuries to her foot and was later released from the hospital.

Authorities believe the same bull shark attacked all three people.

Lulu Gribben’s mother posted an update on her daughter’s condition on

The post can be found below:

Today is Sunday, June 9, 2024 and I wanted to share Lulu Gribbins’ story so everyone can continue to pray for our sweet, beautiful child. Lulu and her twin sister, Ellie, and I went to the beach in Birmingham with some of their friends and their mothers on Wednesday June 5th. It was our first mother-daughter beach trip and we were all incredibly excited. Our first two days were great on the beach, with friends and dinners.

On Friday we decided to drive down from our house just past Rosemary Beach for lunch. After lunch we walked back down the beach to the girls and everyone on the beach was looking at the water. No one was in the water and all we heard was that there was a shark and we started looking too. My friend called her two daughters and they weren’t answering so she started panicking and said there was something wrong and started running and that’s what we all did. The beach was filled with people watching. I came across a group of people surrounding someone on the ground and I looked down and it was Lulu who was there. Ellie found me and told me that Mom was Lulu. I saw his leg injuries and started screaming. She was lifeless, her eyes closed, her mouth white and pale. The injury to his leg, or whatever was left of his leg, was something out of a movie. I finally came back to her and held her hand and she saw me and I told her I was there. His eyes were open. I had no idea how long she had been there or what had happened. Almost immediately the beach truck was there and the paramedics loaded her onto a board, put her back in the truck and took her away, she was lifted into the air. One of my friends, Mom, immediately took Ellie and me home and into the car. We were told she was going to one location and we finally got an answer: She would be going to Sacred Heart in Pensacola. It was an hour and 20 minute drive. We prayed the whole way. My friend who was driving was a gift from God to me and Ellie and knew exactly what to pray. All I could say over and over was please be alive, please breathe. No one we called could give us any information.

We arrived at Sacred Heart and Lulu was already in surgery, but they answered my prayer that she was alive and her vitals were good. Joe met me there and we waited for the surgeons to come and talk to us. Once they did, we were informed that the shark had bitten Lulu’s left hand and they had to amputate her right leg halfway up, from the knee to the hip. She had also lost 2/3 of the blood in her body. Of course no one wants that for your child but she’s alive. They also told us that Lulu might be intubated for about a week and would need 4-5 surgeries to finalize her amputations.

Yesterday, Saturday, Lulu did not have surgery as we had hoped and her vital signs were exactly what the team of doctors and nurses wanted. She did so well that they eventually took the tube out of her throat and she was breathing on her own. It was a first big step. Once installed, her first words were: “ I did it.” And that’s what she did.

Lulu relived the story of what happened on the beach that day. There were 6 friends all at the first waist high sandbar looking for sand dollars. Probably like hundreds of other people in the water that day. I’m not sure who noticed the shark first, but Lulu said it bit her hand, then her leg, then went over to her other friend and grabbed her foot. Lulu said a man grabbed her other arm and pulled her out and another younger boy helped carry her to shore. Once on the shore, there were two doctors and two other young women including a nurse who surrounded Lulu. These individuals applied tourniquets to Lulus’ wounds. Which I believe was crucial to saving Lulu’s life. She was then taken by the beach truck and flown to Sacred Heart in Pensacola, where we are now.

I am forever grateful to the 3 surgeons and all the nurses and doctors here at this hospital who saved Lulu. I am grateful to the doctors and nurses on the beach that day. I am grateful to the paramedics on the beach and the crew in the air. I’m grateful to the person who pulled her out of the water. At this point, we will undergo many surgeries in the days to come and our lives will be changed forever. Lulu is strong, beautiful, brave and many other things that I can’t count. God has a plan for her and we will be there to support her in any way we can.

We appreciate the outpouring of love and support that has been shown to us. All text messages, videos, Instagram, Facebook posts, calls, etc. lifted us all up. Please continue to pray for Lulu. Pray for her to have the strength to overcome whatever lies ahead. Pray that his recovery will be quick and that the pain will be as minimal as possible. She is afraid of not fitting in and that people will make fun of her. I need prayers for everyone to be understanding and show grace. I also need prayers that Lulu knows that her hand and leg do not define who she is. Please pray that Joe and I will give her strength and be the rock she needs. Pray that we have the right words to lift her up and encourage her. I would also like prayers for all the girls who were on the beach with her and for the trauma they endured. Sweet Lulu is more worried about her friends than herself, which is a testament to her character.

I know it was a terrible accident, but God was there and had the people there who helped save her life. Lulu said she felt God in the back of the beach truck. She truly is a miracle. We have a long way to go and our journey has only just begun!

*Please do not donate to Caring Bridge as funds do not go towards Lulu’s care*

Ann Blair Gribbin, mother of Lulu

A community-wide prayer service was held on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at Faust and Gribben’s home church, St. Luke’s Birmingham.