Shark attack survivor thanks surgeons at Tufts Medical Center for saving his life

BOSTON (WHDH) - A New York neurologist attacked by a great white shark on Cape Cod last summer says he is lucky to be alive.

Dr. William Lytton visited Tufts Medical Center Thursday to thank the surgeons who saved his life after a shark grabbed hold of his leg at Longnook Beach in Truro.

“Looking back, there was this shark stuck on my leg and it seemed to be trying to twist me over and push me down,” he recalled.

Lytton fought off the shark as emergency crews arrived at the scene.

Beachgoers helped carry Lytton up a sand dune and to an ambulance.

Emergency crews then flew him to the medical center where he underwent 11 surgeries in nine days.

Dr. Eric Mahoney, surgical co-director of the Surgical ICU at Tufts Medical Center, described that the initial operation “was to control bleeding and to assess the degree of injury.”

The following surgeries helped reconstruct his leg, which had been shredded, and his hand.

Surgeons pulled out a shark tooth from Lytton’s body.

“When we found the tooth, that was definitely a moment that you come back and say this is from a shark,” said Dr. Scott Ryan, chief of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery at Tufts Medical Center.

Lytton says his wife hasn’t cleared him to go back in the ocean yet.

“My wife tells me that if I’m very good, then I can be upgraded from shower to bath but we’ll see about ocean,” he joked.

Lytton is currently on Cape Cod working at a lab in Woods Hole for the summer, just as he’s done for the past 20 years.

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