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12-year-old girl calls scars and shark tooth necklace souvenirs of startling encounter in shallow water in Ocean City

WILKES-BARRE, PA. — Days after getting bitten by a shark, Jordan Prushinski asked her parents to buy her a shark tooth necklace at a gift shop just as her family was leaving Ocean City, Maryland.

“It will be a souvenir of the incident. I was bitten by a shark, and it’s a shark tooth necklace,” the 12-year-old said a day later at the family’s home in Plains Township while sporting the necklace.

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Jordan, who received 42 stitches as a result of the shark bite, remains in good spirits and her pediatrician said her wounds are “healing beautifully.”

She never panicked during the incident, walked out of the emergency room and vows to return to the ocean again one day.

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“She’s been a trouper,” her mother, Melissa Prushinski, said. “She has taken it so well. She’s a fighter.”

Shark bite survivor Jordan Prushinski sits by the family pool at her home Aug. 7 in Plains Township Pennsylvania. Days after getting bitten by a shark, Jordan Prushinski asked her parents to buy her a shark tooth necklace at a gift shop just as her family was leaving Ocean City, Maryland. Jordan, who received 42 stitches as a result of the shark bite, remains in good spirits and her pediatrician said her wounds are “healing beautifully.” The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice
Shark bite survivor Jordan Prushinski sits by the family pool at her home Aug. 7 in Plains Township Pennsylvania. Days after getting bitten by a shark, Jordan Prushinski asked her parents to buy her a shark tooth necklace at a gift shop just as her family was leaving Ocean City, Maryland. Jordan, who received 42 stitches as a result of the shark bite, remains in good spirits and her pediatrician said her wounds are “healing beautifully.” The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice (DAVE SCHERBENCO/AP)

Jordan said she was splashing in shallow water near 119th Street on Aug. 2 when she felt something smack her leg.

“I thought it was a horseshoe crab,” she said.

Lifeguards quickly wrapped her wounds and her parents rushed her to a nearby emergency room.

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Jordan, who said she felt no pain until doctors injected her with anesthesia for the stitches at the hospital, said the toughest part about the ordeal has been keeping up with the onslaught of media requests from around the country and world.

She appeared on “Good Morning America” and ABC’s “World News Tonight” in addition to being featured in newspapers across the country.

But she realizes she’s one of the few people on earth to have been bitten by a shark — and people are curious about her story.

“I keep thinking, why me?” Jordan said.

Because Jordan and her family were dealing with the incident so well, family and friends decided to help her laugh about the shark encounter.

When she returned home, she entered her bedroom to find a shark inner tube planted by her grandmother. She promptly put it in the family’s pool.

A friend of Melissa Prushinski sent an “I Survived A Shark Attack” T-shirt to the home, along with shark gummy candies.

While experts are debating what type of shark bit Jordan based on the bite marks, several said it certainly shouldn’t be considered a predatory “attack.” The incident likely was a result of Jordan and the shark inadvertently bumping into each other in the water, they said.

“She got very lucky,” her father Robert Prushinski said. “Thank God she is in good spirits with it. If he would have chomped into her, there would have been major problems.”

Jordan was supposed to be away this weekend with her traveling softball team for a tournament. The incoming seventh grader at Solomon Plains Junior High School is looking forward to playing soccer this upcoming season for the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack.

She suffered no muscle, ligament or tendon damage, so her parents expect her to be ready to compete in athletics again in the near future.

As for the inevitable scars, Jordan said she’s not worried and might not take the advice of doctors to seek plastic surgery.

“I want a cool scar because it will be a souvenir from the incident,” Jordan said.

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