CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – A 12-year-old Archdale girl, who was one of two young people attacked by sharks in mid-June at Oak Island, was released from the hospital in Chapel Hill on Monday.
Kiersten Yow, who suffered life-threatening injuries from the violent shark attack, was discharged from UNC Children’s Hospital and transferred to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., to complete an inpatient rehabilitation program.
During the shark attack, Kiersten suffered the loss of part of her left arm and serious injuries to a leg. During a month in the hospital, Kiersten had reconstructive surgery.
“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,” said Dr. Bill Adamson, Surgeon-in-Chief at UNC Children’s Hospital.
Doctors credited Kiersten’s recovery to her attitude during the time since the shark attack.
“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,” Adamson said.
Kiersten’s rehab will focus on increasing 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,” Adamson said.
The Yow family provided the following statement:
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!