Jessie Out Of The Hospital - - The News for South Mississippi


Jessie Out Of The Hospital

Eight-year-old shark attack victim Jessie Arbogast again was released from a Pensacola hospital Monday, but a spokesman there declined to say whether he was going back home. Jessie, whose right arm was reattached after being bitten off on July 6, returned to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital two weeks ago from his home in Ocean Springs, Miss., because of a vomiting problem that has been resolved, said spokesman Mike Burke.

``He was released to continue his rehabilitation,'' Burke said. ``His parents did not want us to disclose his destination after his discharge from the hospital.'' It was Jessie's third stay at Sacred Heart. He initially was taken to Baptist Hospital, which was closer to the beach where he was attacked. Two days later he was transferred to Sacred Heart, which has a pediatric intensive care unit. He went home Aug. 12, but was readmitted Aug. 20 when he had an adverse reaction to a medication. He went home again a week later. In addition to the arm, Jessie was bitten severely on the right thigh and suffered brain injury due to blood loss. ``His neurological status is similar to what it was during his last hospital stay,'' Burke said. ``He still is not able to communicate or talk to people.''

Burke said his parents, David and Claire Arobogast, felt he had been improving at home. While in the hospital he did look more alert and followed people with his eyes, Burke said. Jessie was attacked by a 6 1/2-foot bull shark in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico at the Fort Pickens area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore south of Pensacola. His uncle, Vance Flosenzier, of Mobile, Ala., grabbed the shark by the tail while another beachgoer held Jessie until his arm came off in the shark's mouth. Flosenzier dragged the shark ashore where the severed arm was removed from the fish's gullet. The dramatic rescue and Jessie's fight for life after surgeons at Baptist Hospital reattached his arm captured the nation's attention.

It set off a flurry of media interest that intensified in the following weeks with coverage of shark attacks elsewhere including two deaths in Virginia and North Carolina.

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