Growing up watching Jaws and its sequels has freaked me out about being in the ocean. I do not know if that fear will ever leave me. Reading Shark Assault by Peter Jennings and Nicole Moore does not change my fear of sharks, but it does help me to understand and respect them more.
Here is a brief summary of the book from the publisher:
One of the most dreadful experiences humans fear is a shark attack. This horrifying agony is exactly what happened to Nicole Moore, a nurse from Orangeville, Ontario. It was an assault all the more brutal for being so unlikely – she was standing in waist-deep water at a Mexican resort. She came very close to dying, losing 60 percent of her blood from bites on her arm and leg, and was rushed to a hospital where she received a questionable level of medical care that left her and her family confronting physical and mental anguish. Surviving gruesome miswery, including the amputation of her left arm and attempts to rebuild her disfigured leg, she has fought on to become a source of inspiration for those facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Jennings and Moore lay out the book in a traditional format – Moore’s life before the attack, the attack and actions to save her life, actions to save her injured limbs, and life afterward. It is a very straight-forward, no nonsense story. Moore is fortunate and blessed to be alive – due to providence and a fighting attitude.
I am struck by her indomitable spirit to stay positive and fight to live no matter the odds. The most gripping part of the book is the narrative of her telling those on the beach after the attack to keep her awake (she knew she had lost a lot of blood and that if she slipped into unconsciousness that she would not wake up again). That presence of mind astounds me.
Throughout the story, Jennings and Moore interweave the comments of those that helped her through her struggle. These include the EMT on her med flight from Mexico to Canada, her doctors and nurses in Toronto, and her physical therapist. Each of them marvel at Moore’s ability to overcome overwhelming odds to live.
The book is an excellent testament to a person’s will to live despite the overwhelming odds.