Joseph Tanner, an avid surfer, was resting on his board when he felt something grab and pull him under water. He knew within seconds that he was being attacked by a shark.
"My whole leg was in its mouth," he said.
However, he remained calm throughout the ordeal. He wanted to punch the beast on the nose, but all he could see was the monsters gills and so he made a go at them.
“I opened my eyes and there were gills in front of me," Tanner said. "I can't reach the nose and I can't reach the eyeballs, so I just started hitting the gills.”
"I just paddled my life away. That was probably the scariest moment, trying to get back to the shore and leaving a trail of blood," he added.
The skin felt similar to “the grainiest sandpaper,” he said.
With a bleeding leg, he paddled for his life, warning fellow surfers as he paddled to the shore. He managed to swim 200 meters to the shore at Indiana Beach, near Portland, Oregon, despite all the pain and his injuries.
And this is not where his bravery ends. Once he got to the shore, he advised the people around him on how to treat him while the ambulance arrived. He had those expertise because besides being an enthusiastic surfer, Tanner is also a critical care nurse at a hospital.
He is being treated at the same hospital by his colleagues.
"I remember being in the trauma bay and two of my co-workers were on either side of me. They were in drapes and lights and they literally looked angelic. It was like a breath of relief to see these familiar faces," Tanner said.
After several surgeries, his leg is left with a 26-inch bite which reaches from his thigh to his ankle.
Experts believe Tanner was attacked by a great white by examining the jaw marks on his wound. Doctors believe he will be able to make a full or nearly full recovery.
Despite being traumatized, Tanner is pretty lively. “I hope that shark is in ICU after the beating I gave him,” he said.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help with his medical bills has raised more than $15,000. The surfer has pledged to donate anything leftover from medical expenses to the African Orphanage project.