Juan Carlos La Verde is very lucky to be alive, to say the least, after he survived an alligator attack.
Drone Pilot Matt Ross was shooting drone footage when La Verde jumped in the Lake Thonotosassa water in Florida to shoot an instructional video. That's when a 12-foot alligator attacked.
“With the right stroke, all I felt was scales, teeth and then right there I’m like okay. So, what I think I did, what I felt like I did, was that I immediately tried to open its jaws because I knew I was in a gator,” La Verde said to WFTS-TV.
“When I felt the teeth, I immediately knew, and then as I opened it I knew that I either turned it or it turned me, but it was confused just as I was confused, and then it just let go,” La Verde said.
La Verde forgot his goggles that day and that caused him to not see the alligator right away. The attack only lasted a few seconds but that was long enough to do some serious damage.
He suffered a crushed head, a broken jaw and a damaged facial nerve during the attack.
“The bite crushed his skull, and it punctured his brain. So, they ended up having to do a craniectomy, remove part of his temporal lobe,” La Verde’s wife Christine said to Fox 13.
After the attack, La Verde underwent six hours of surgery at the Tampa Bay General Hospital. Christine has a new nickname for her husband, "The Walking Miracle."
His jaw will remain wired shut for several weeks. Despite the attack, his spirits remain high and he gives credit to his faith and family for that.
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