NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Oahu surfer who lost his leg in a shark attack Friday is determined to ride the waves again.
Loved ones are now by Colin Cook's side as he begins his long road to recovery.
The day after the attack, the 25-year-old got out of his hospital bed and took a few steps. He took a few more on Sunday, surrounded by relatives who have flown in from across the country.
Cook is a young entrepreneur who just opened his own fiberglass surfboard shop. Unfortunately, he can't run his business right now and won't have any income as he learns how to walk again. So his closest friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help him out.
Cook's father, Glenn, flew in after getting the news about his son.
"When you're going through something like this as a dad, all you want is to come here and hug your son," he said. "He goes 'Dad, don't worry about me. Just make sure you take care of yourself and get over here.'"
Glenn said his son is a fighter.
That proved to be true when Colin was attacked by a 10-to-12-foot tiger shark while surfing Oahu's North Shore Friday morning.
Glenn said he son told him it was a beautiful day at the popular surf spot, Leftovers Beach Park, when Colin's life changed forever.
"In Colin's words, the tiger shark came out of nowhere. It grabbed his left leg and pulled him under and he grabbed the board with one hand, but the shark started pulling him backwards in the water," Glenn Cook said.
"He was able to pop up ... and with his left hand, he pushed back on the shark which gave him tremendous injuries on his hand, but with his right hand he was able to punch the living heck out of the shark's nose."
Once Colin was pulled to shore, a bystander used a surfboard leash as a tourniquet to control the bleeding. Doctors say that saved his life.
Although Colin is alive and already making tremendous progress, like sitting up, even taking steps, his family knows his recovery will be a long and tough road. So Colin's high school buddies set up a GoFundMe page, and have already raised more than $17,000 toward their $50,000 goal.
Colin's family members, who flew in from all around the country to be by his side, say they are forever grateful for all the donations.
"People from all over the world now are donating and people have no idea who Colin is. That's why it's important to tell Colin's story, this isn't about a shark attack. This is about a community, a surf community embracing Colin Cook and his passion for the industry," said Glenn Cook.
He said Colin hopes to be back surfing the North Shore and running his shop again by the new year.