Published 9:27 PM EDT Oct 1, 2018
The teenage boy who was attacked by a shark off a California beach on Saturday is in serious condition but recovering from traumatic bite injuries, a hospital official said at a Monday press conference.
Keane Webre-Hayes,13, talked and was alert Monday morning in a pediatric intensive care unit at Rady Children's Hospital about 48 hours after a harrowing attack left his clavicle "ripped open," according to a kayaker who rendered aid off Beacon's Beach in Encinitas, 25 miles north of San Diego.
"He's improving, but we still have care to do to get him out of the hospital," said Dr. Tim Fairbanks, Rady's chief of pediatric surgery. "While he's doing well, we still have significant recovery."
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The staff is monitoring the boy's blood count and risk for infection. Rehabilitation work will need to be done, Fairbanks said, adding that Webre-Hayes still has all of his limbs.
His mother, Ellie Hayes, thanked first responders, the hospital and the local community for their support, describing her son as brave and compassionate and calling his survival "a miracle."
"I think it is a miracle and I think Keane is a miracle," Hayes said, adding that her son, an eighth-grader, enjoyed a cup of noddles and a donut to eat on Monday morning. "I think he's very, very, very strong and he's a survivor now."
On Saturday morning, the opening day of lobster season, Hayes said her son was "emphatic" about lobster diving with a friend. She watched them from a cliff.
"He said, 'Mom, I'm going to make you a lobster dinner tonight,'" Hayes recalled. "So, he owes me one."
Her son has already expressed a desire to go back in the water, the mother said, telling her that the chances of another shark attack would be especially low. He has also been asking for the three men and kayak owner who saved him.
There have not been additional shark sightings in the area since Saturday, according to the city of Encinitas. Beacon's Beach and the surrounding area, La Costa Avenue to Swami’s Beach, reopened at 7 a.m. Monday.
A GoFundMe page to help the family cover the boy's medical bills had raised more than $27,000 as of Monday afternoon.