Toby Begg, 44, was surfing at Lighthouse Beach when he was bitten by a shark on Friday morning. It's understood Mr Begg tried to fight off the animal for a total of 30 seconds before he made his way, critically injured, into shore.
Mr Begg was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, and though he had to have his leg amputated, his condition has since stabilised and it's expected he will recover.
A photographer who was looking for dolphins on the day of the attack has unveiled an image taken seconds before Mr Begg was bitten. It shows the father of two, top right, sitting in the water on his blue board, his gaze fixed on the ripples in the water next to a bodyboarder just a couple of metres away. It is likely this is the moment the group of surfers first noticed the shark.
Witnesses said that the shark attempted to attack Mr Begg a number of times before he was eventually able to swim back to shore. He was flown to Port Macquarie Base Hospital where doctors tried desperately — but failed — to save one of his legs, 7 News reported.
Further surgeries required for victim Toby Begg
He was then flown to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle where his other leg was operated on. Though Mr Begg's surgeries were successful in keeping him alive, it's expected the ordeal will require years of rehabilitation and a number further of surgeries.
His brother-in-law Chris Lenihan said his injuries are “extremely serious and life-changing” but doctors are still working to understand the full extent of the damage.
“It is very early stages and the full extent of his injuries are being uncovered however, he will require many surgeries and has years of rehabilitation ahead of him,” he said in a post to Facebook on Saturday morning.
The skilled builder and business owner is the main income earner of his young family including “loving partner” Tracy and their two children.
A GoFundMe to help the family pay for his medical bills and the future cost of his traumatic injuries has already raised more than $6000.
- With NCA News Wire
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