Shark Attack Victim Talks About His Ordeal

Harvey Miller
Harvey Miller

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- An Ohio man, who was attacked by a shark, talks about his ordeal for the first time Friday afternoon.

Harvey Miller of Toledo, had surgery on his left leg after an eight-foot shark took a chunk out of it.

Miller was understandably groggy after his ordeal. Friday, he talked with his doctor and his wife near his side. He is truly grateful to talk about it.

Miller made his post shark-attack debut to a flurry of media attention.

"It's better than leaving the island in a box," he said. "So I'm truly am grateful to my heavenly father because it could've been far worse."

Miller, a 36-year-old attorney, was snorkeling off of Bellows Field Beach Park Thursday afternoon when a shark chomped on his leg.

"I punched it and I started to swim," he said. "And then, that's when I knew it wasn't good because I did not have use of my left lower extremity. I couldn't kick."

Before he was rushed to the hospital, Miller sent his wife Lisa a signal.

"I gave her a thumbs up and said, 'I'm okay. I'm alive. I'm okay and I'm alive,'" he said.

Miller suffered broken bones and nerve damage, but it could have been much worse.

"If the vessel would have been involved in the injury, it would've been an event that could have been life threatening to him," said Dr. Patrick Murray, Miller's orthopaedic surgeon.

The Miller family is having a different vacation than expected, but Lisa Miller said she feels truly blessed.

"Oh, I can't. There are no words to say how grateful I am to have my husband here," she said. "He's alive and well. He's my life."

Miller is supposed to be discharged from the hospital early next week. The family plans to go home a week from Friday.

He'll have some challenges, but his chances are very good. No major nerves or arteries were damaged, and doctors think he'll walk again in six to twelve months.