GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Shark attack survivor Nicolette Raleigh (in wheelchair) left Maui Memorial Medical Center yesterday with, from left, her friend Jessy Larson, boyfriend Shane Wilds, sister Kristen (kneeling), grandmother Bernadette Coco, father Dan Raleigh, grandfather John Coco, aunt Bernadette and mother Cathy Johnson (kneeling next to her).
Shark victim gets family visit
Donations help bring the teenager's father and sister to Maui
WAILUKU » Shark attack survivor Nicolette Raleigh said she was happy to see her father and sister, who flew to Maui thanks in part to fundraising from hometown residents of Audubon, N.J.
"I haven't seen him since the summer," Raleigh said yesterday. "When he got here, I was really happy."
Her father, Dan Raleigh of Audubon, said relatives, school officials and townspeople donated money to help him and his 11-year-old daughter Kristen fly to Maui to be with Nicolette.
"They pulled through unbelievably," Dan Raleigh said. "I couldn't believe it."
Nicolette Raleigh, 15 and a freshman at Kihei Charter High School, was with her boyfriend Shane Wilds and friend Jessy Larson in about one to two feet of water at the State Park at Makena on Monday afternoon when a shark bit her and caused an 8-inch-long wound.
Dan and Kristen Raleigh arrived on Maui Thursday.
Nicolette Raleigh, who was released from Maui Memorial Medical Center yesterday, said she was feeling better and did not have as much pain as before in her right leg.
Raleigh underwent surgery Wednesday to repair nerves to her right calf damaged by the shark bite.
She said doctors will be checking on her progress in about a week to 10 days to determine if she needs a nerve graft from her other leg.
She said she can get around in her walker and wheelchair but has not been putting much pressure on her right leg.
Television shows, including ABC's "Good Morning America," have contacted the family to request an interview with Raleigh.
Her mother, Cathy Johnson, said Raleigh has been chanting from her hospital bed, "Oprah, Oprah," proclaiming her preference for Oprah Winfrey among talk-show hosts.
Johnson said because of fears that flying could lead to medical complications for Raleigh, including a blood clot, the family has put off any immediate plans for her to travel off Maui.