12-Year-Old Florida Surfer Survives Shark Attack..."I Kicked It In The Gills"

12-Year-Old Florida Surfer Survives Shark Attack..."I Kicked It In The Gills"


12-Year-Old Florida Surfer Survives Shark Attack..."I Kicked It In The Gills"


12-year-old Jai Villamil is  recovering at a hospital in Florida after shark to a bite out his leg on New Smyrna Beachon Monday:

“I caught this wave and was standing in the turf area, which is like waist-deep water, and I just felt like a big spin and jab hit me in the leg.”

It was then the kid’s survival instinct took over and he went on the offensive:

“It got me twice, two areas of my leg, but then I took my left leg and kicked it in the gills.”

Thankfully a local surf instructor who goes by “Gnarly Charlie” was nearby and snapped into action:

“I told him not to look at his leg because it was pretty graphic, so I didn’t want him to see it, so we got him in and some other people on the beach were helping out.”

To stop the bleeding Gnarly Charlie got resourceful and went for the closest thing at hand:

“So I thought a surf leash! So I grabbed one and wrapped it five times around his knee and it actually stopped the bleeding. By then, the paramedics were there within 10 to 12 minutes.”

Paramedics arrived on scene and he was taken to the hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries to repair the damage to his muscles, nerves, tendons, and arteries. Jai is healing up and hopes to get back surfing. He is also super thankful for Gnarly Charlie’s help:

“If it wasn’t for him. I probably wouldn’t be in this condition right now.”

There’s a GoFundMe set up to help with his medical expenses. To make a donation GO HERE.


It is with the heaviest of hearts that we’d like everyone  to know that Jamerica’s son,  Jai is in critical condition at Arnold Palmer.

Monday afternoon while surfing with friends, Jai was bitten by a shark in the right calf.   He sustained extensive damage to his calf muscle, nerves, tendons, and arteries.   Friends on the scene immediately sprung into action to help save his life and control the bleeding.  The paramedics worked as fast as they could,  and he was taken to the Halifax Hospital for Emergency Surgery to stabilize him and control the bleeding.  Jamerica, and loved ones met him there to pray and be by his bedside.   After he was in stable condition, Jai was transferred to Orlando’s Arnold Palmer, where he will receive the extensive multi surgeries required to repair the damage to his muscles, nerves, tendons, and arteries.

Jai is twelve years old, and excited to be a teenager in October.    He just graduated sixth grade,  and is going into middle school next year.   Jai is an avid athlete who enjoys and excels in all types of sports activities from surfing, skateboarding to soccer.   Surfing is his new found passion,  and he has been training to complete his Deep-Diving Breath-Holding Certification to make him an even stronger surfer.  We ask that through the power of prayers,  you keep Jai and his mom in your thoughts  during these trying times.

Jamerica is a single mom and she has been Jai’s only parental being during his entire life.  Jai is her best friend, and her world.   No one could ask for a better mother.   We ask at this time for you  to please  “like and share” this story for your friends to read and pass on to share Jai’s  journey to recovery.    Both; he and Jamerica will need as much love and support as they can to get through these difficult time. With the extensive time off work for Jamerica,  we kindly ask that if you can, please donate any amount possible to help with all the medical cost she will incur during this extensive long recovery.   Every little bit of proceeds donated will help ease the burden of this scary time the family is experiencing.   It will allow Jamerica to be by Jai’s bedside to provide the care, comfort and support her son needs during his painful recovery,  without jeopardizing the safe heaven of the home they love.

We appreciate your love and support.   We ask everyone to please keep your on going prayers.  They will need as much love and support as everyone will give them. We will announce updates as we get them.

Praying for Jai and his fast recovery! DONATE HERE.

images from gnarlycharleyssurfseries IG

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