Pennsylvania girl survives shark attack while swimming at Central Florida beach

A 12-year-girl is recovering after a shark bit her while swimming in Cocoa Beach, Florida earlier this week. 

"Right when I got out of the water, I just started screaming because I knew that it wasn't good," Magnolia Woodhead said.

She can smile about it now, but what happened Monday was no laughing matter. 

"My husband picks her up, and I could see blood dripping down her leg," her mother Melissa Stallings said.

Woodhead was swimming south of the Cocoa Beach pier when suddenly a shark attacked her. 

"My first thought was, like, I'm not going to do gymnastics," she recalled.


She and her family are visiting from Philadelphia and are in town for a gymnastics competition. They decided to take a trip to the beach the day before and were more concerned about sunburn than anything else.

"Shark bite was not on the agenda for the day, I'll tell you that," Stallings said.

At the hospital, Woodhead says she got 50 stitches. Doctors told her they believe the shark bit her twice because of all the puncture wounds.

"About 75 to 100 up and down her little thigh," Stalling said.

And although she couldn't compete this year, she was still able to show her support for her teammates just as they did for her.

"I was just there because I really wanted to support my teammates because I know they've worked so hard on this contest and stuff," Woodhead said.

She hopes to come back to Florida next year to compete, but you can count her out of any trips to the beach. 

"For a long time," she said.

Woodhead isn't letting her encounter with a shark ruin the rest of her trip to Central Florida. She and her family still plan to go to Walt Disney World later this week, although she will require the use of a wheelchair.