N.C. shark bite victim discharged from UNC Hospitals

The parents of 12-year-old Kiersten Yow issue a statement as their daughter is transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation program to continue her recovery.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Kiersten Yow, the 12 year old bitten by a shark off Oak Island, N.C., on June 14, has been discharged from N.C. Children’s Hospital and transferred to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., to complete an inpatient rehabilitation program.

In the weeks since my June 25 statement, Kiersten has made tremendous progress in her recovery. With the skin grafts sufficiently healed, she was permitted to begin walking with assistance again on July 8, and already she is walking under her own power, increasing in both strength and distance each day.

This progress is a credit to her care team—pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Anna Cuomo, MD, and pediatric reconstructive surgeon, Jeyhan Wood, MD, among them—but also to Kiersten herself. Kiersten is a remarkable young lady, very independent and motivated to push her limits every day. Her determination and positive attitude have enabled her to make steady progress and will serve as her greatest allies, alongside her loving family, in the coming weeks.

Kiersten will most certainly continue to improve in rehab, where she will focus on increasing her strength, balance, and range of motion and on learning how to use her left arm in her daily activities as efficiently and effectively as possible. We expect great things of Kiersten and are anxious to follow her progress on the road to recovery.

The family does not wish to participate in news interviews but has provided the following statement.

Bill Adamson, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief, UNC Children’s

A message from the Yow family

Today marks 30 days since our lives changed forever—and today our family takes a giant leap toward our ultimate goal of returning home as Kiersten leaves UNC for an intensive, inpatient rehabilitation program. Kiersten’s doctors have told us to expect to be in Charlotte at least three weeks, but determined as ever, Kiersten insists she’ll complete the program in two. That’s our girl!

As we prepare for next steps, we want to express how grateful we are to everyone at UNC. We’ve had up and down days, but we can’t say enough about how well we’ve been cared for as an entire family. We arrived at UNC shell shocked and bewildered but leave Chapel Hill strong and optimistic about what lies ahead.

We also want to thank the public yet again for their prayers and support of our family during this difficult time. This experience, though traumatic, has shown us the true kindness and generosity of the human spirit. Having friends and strangers alike rally behind Kiersten has made the experience easier and is something we will never forget!

We are still not ready to talk about our experience publicly but will continue to update our Kiersten Yow Support page on Facebook for those interested in following our journey.


Laurie and Brian Yow


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