NC woman loses arm in shark attack, credits God for saving her life


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – When you hear her story, you realize how lucky Tiffany Johnson is to be alive.

The Concord mother-of-three was snorkeling in the Bahamas last week when a shark latched onto her arm and didn’t let go, severing her limb. She fought through her third and hopefully final surgery at Carolinas Medical Center on Friday.

She lost everything from her hand to just below her elbow. Her husband, JJ Johnson, said Tiffany’s been positive, and is thanking God for her life.

“She felt her arm, like a small tug on her arm. She casually looked over to her right to see what it was, and she was staring face-to-face at the shark,” JJ Johnson said.

The 32-year-old’s arm was inside what she believes was a tiger shark’s jaws. The husband says it happened fast.

“When she realized what was happening, she tried to pull her arm out of the shark’s mouth – and that’s when the shark clamped down tighter,” he said. “They struggled there for a second and as she tried to pull away, the shark bit her arm off.”

JJ Johnson was in the boat, but jumped in the moment her heard his wife scream.

“I looked over there and I just saw blood all over in the water, all around her,” he said. “She’s saying, ‘Help me! Help me, Jesus!’ and she’s praying as she’s swimming back.”

That alone is the reason the couple believes she survived that day. She was rushed into surgery and back to Charlotte the next day, where she endured two more at CMC.

She may have lost her arm, but she has her life. JJ has his wife, and their three children still have their mother.

The thankful husband sums it up perfectly: “It’s by the grace of God she’s alive.”

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