Maria Korcsmaros, a 52-year-old woman who was bitten by a shark off the Corona del Mar Beach coast over Memorial Day weekend, recounted the ordeal to reporters from her hospital bed Tuesday.
She described feeling the bite as “surreal” and said it’s a moment that replays in her head quite often as she continues to recover at Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana.
“It just felt like piercing teeth and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I think that was a shark.’”
The attack left bite marks on some of Korcsmaros’ bones, and doctors believe her physical fitness likely contributed to her survival. She was training for a half Iron Man Triathlon when she was bitten.
“When it bit down, it encountered my ribs and my pelvis and it wasn’t able to puncture any major organs because of that,” she said.
The personal trainer and mother of three remembered thinking, “I’m done, if i don’t get out of here… so lets just get out of here and make it through.”
She swam until a Newport Beach lifeguard spotted her and pulled her to safety. It was then that she felt the blood gushing from her arm.
Korcsmaros was taken to the hospital, underwent surgery and is now in stable condition.
She said Tuesday that she considers herself lucky.