Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
August 23, 2001
It is a
beautiful Carolina morning. All the years of hearing about Myrtle
Beach, I am finally here and stepping into the ocean water. The beach
is quiet; not to many people around. I can see the lifeguard has just
arrived and is setting up for the day. I am floating on my back and
taking it all in. A scene of the movie Jaws looms in my mind, then fades
feel something is not right. I start to rise up from the water. A
tremendous feeling of spikes is shooting up and down my back. It felt
like electrocution. At that very moment, I sensed my back was struck by
a shark or sting ray. I checked both sides over my shoulder; no signs
of blood. As I started to walk towards the beach, I can the feel the
surf hitting my legs and lower back. The pain has intensified.
to the young lifeguard. He looks at my back with a strange look, and
tells me I have huge welts across my upper back. "I have never seen
anything like this. How do you feel he asks?". I told him, "My back is
on fire, I never felt anything like this". The young lifeguard blew a
whistle for an older lifeguard to come over. He suspects a Portuguese
I stagger to
the hotel lobby and tell the woman at the front desk I need help. My
back is burning up with intense pain. She looks at my back with
disbelief and asks me if I want an ambulance.
Yes, call 911.