A 20-year-old Florida surfer is recovering after nearly losing his leg to a string ray barb.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Michael Goldstein and his surgeon, Dr. Eugene Misquith, appeared together to discuss the freak-accident.
On June 19, Goldstein had been surfing off the coast of Singer Island when he thought he felt his leg get punched, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Goldstein originally thought it had been a shark attack, but was relieved when he saw the wound, which was less than an inch long. However, shortly after arriving at St. Mary’s Medical Center he learned that the injury was much more severe.
No barbs were found in Goldstein’s cut, but doctors suspected that a stingray was at fault because the wound more closely resembled a puncture than a bite.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says stingrays are typically non-aggressive, but the bases of their tails contain venomous barbs, the Sun Sentinel reports.
A scan revealed that the cut was disrupting the blood flow to his foot which, if not treated immediately, could’ve led to the need for amputation.
“We caught it just in time,” Dr. Eugene Misquith said in the news conference.
While cases of shark encounters haven’t been uncommon at the hospital, Misquith said this was the only stingray incident he could remember.
It’ll be at least a few more weeks before Goldstein will be allowed to get back in the water, as he could be at risk of infection. But the encounter wasn’t enough to keep him away from the waves.
“As soon as I can, I’ll go out,” he said. “It’s not going to stop me from doing anything.”
- Photo via Palm Beach Post