PENSACOLA, Fla. — An 8-year-old boy whose arm was reattached after a shark attack developed kidney problems but was improving Monday, a surgeon said.
"He's stable and making some progress," Dr. Jack Tyson told the NBC's "Today" show. Jessie Arbogast of Ocean Springs, Miss., was in critical but stable condition Monday after undergoing dialysis, officials at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital said.
Jessie was moved to Sacred Heart because Baptist Hospital, where surgeons reattached his arm, is not equipped to treat kidney failure.
The boy was attacked Friday evening while playing in knee-deep water at Gulf Islands National Seashore near Fort Pickens in the Florida Panhandle.
His uncle wrestled the 7-foot-long bull shark to shore.
"He's a big guy. He got hold of it and tossed it ashore," District Ranger Supervisor John Bandurski said.
Ranger Jared Klein then shot the shark four times with a 9mm pistol, and pried its jaw open with a police baton. Volunteer firefighter Tony Thomas used a clamp to pull the boy's severed arm out of the shark.
The boy had no pulse and no blood pressure when he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital about 30 minutes after the attack, Tyson said.
"He had essentially lost all of his blood," Tyson said. "He had bled out."
Ian Rogers, the plastic surgeon who helped reattach the arm, had said he was hopeful the boy could regain near normal use of his arm in 12 to 18 months, with extensive therapy.
In addition to losing his arm, the boy lost a large section of muscle on his right thigh to the shark.