WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) - A Wake Forest girl is on the mend after surviving a shark attack.
“My leg is a little bit sore from getting my stitches out today, but feels good,” said Peyton Force.
The 11-year-old's scars tell a scary story. Peyton was swimming in the ocean while vacationing in Myrtle Beach. She said she was about waist deep when something caught her eye.
“I just saw something like kind of jump out of the water,” Peyton said. “I thought about it for a minute, but I didn’t move because I thought it could’ve been like a dolphin or something. But, a couple minutes later, something just clamped onto my leg.”
That something turned out to be a shark, Peyton said. She started kicking her leg and calling out for help.
“You’re just thinking, 'What am I gonna do? What’s gonna happen after this?”
Eventually, it swam away, and Peyton made it to the beach where her parents called for help. Paramedics took Peyton to the hospital, and she got stitches.
Myrtle Beach fire officials said Peyton did suffer from a bite from what they describe as some kind of marine animal.
Peyton says she never saw the animal, but is confident a shark bit her. She picked up a little souvenir before leaving Myrtle Beach.
“My necklace," Peyton said. "I just wanted to get it because I thought it looked kind of cool, and it was unique, and just a reminder of how grateful I am that I’m still here."
Peyton is grateful, but also more cautious.
“I’ll probably go up to maybe knee deep, but that’s it,” she said.
Peyton’s family also started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her medical expenses.