North Carolina mom loses arm in shark attack

CONCORD, NC (WCNC/NBC News) — A North Carolina mom is back home and recovering after losing her hand and part of an arm during a shark attack in the Bahamas.

Tiffany Johnson was attacked by a large shark while snorkeling.

The shark bit off part of her arm in about 20 feet of water. Her husband James had just swam back to the boat moments before.

“Honestly it felt like I had bumped into something. I wasn’t alarmed. It didn’t hurt. So I looked to the right to see what bumped into and that was when I was face-to-face with a shark. He had my arm in his mouth. It was floating there just staring at me. So when I went to pull back is when the struggle began. He clamped down harder, thrashing,” said Johnson.

Fighting her way free, Tiffany saw part of her arm was now gone. She knew she needed to get back to the boat. She says it was a miracle she survived.

“God-given strength rose up and came inside of me and I remember thinking this is not the end. He is not going to take my life. I’m just so thankful to be alive, to share this story and I’m just praying that it will impact people’s lives and they can see God in it,” she said.

Husband James tied a beach towel around his wife’s arm and the couple made their way to a local hospital.

Tiffany says her doctors tell her she will have a very good chance to be fitted for a new prosthetic arm that will be controlled by her mind.

“I didn’t even know that was possible!”

Johnson hopes to share her story of faith and survival in the hopes of inspiring others. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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