September 28, 2022

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Firefighter survives crocodile bite

Firefighter Juan Carlos La Verde survived an attack by a 3-meter crocodile in early August. The animal attacked the man’s head with serious injuries. This week, he shared his story in an interview with US TV channel WFLA, along with a video showing the hunt with a drone.

La Verde, who works in Tampa, Florida, was swimming in Lake Thonotosa while filming an instructional video for his outdoor adventure company DefeatX when he noticed the alligator swimming toward him.

The swim practice was for an event organized by La Verde. The reptile broke the fireman’s head and part of his torso. La Verde and the animal rolled into the water, making a 360-degree turn before the alligator released it.

“I felt the equivalent of a telephone pole falling and hitting me in the face. I felt the scales, I felt the teeth, so I knew I was there. God gave me the strength and the ability to immediately grab the top and bottom of his jaw,” he recalled. Fireman.

Images of the moment of the attack were shared by a drone commandeered by La Verde’s partner.

He told the TV channel that he felt “his jaw crack” and continued swimming after breaking free from the animal. Just when I was safe, the adrenaline wore off and the “unbearable” pain began.

To Inside Edition, she admitted: “After I got it off, I tried to swim back to the dock. It’s a very challenging thing to do when your brain is bitten off and your jaw is in pieces.” Surprisingly, La Verde had nothing bad to say about crocodiles. “I don’t know if you’ve ever touched one of them, but they are beautiful creatures.”

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A member of the La Verde Oldsmar Fire Department and a veteran of the US Air Force. After the attack, he was taken to hospital where he stayed for 10 days.

Surgery and recovery

He underwent facial and jaw reconstructive surgery and a craniotomy. A hole and a fracture required the removal of part of his right temporal lobe.

Juan Carlos La Verde survived an attack by a 3 meter crocodile

Image: Background / WFLA TV

Although he will need several more surgeries on his long road to recovery, La Verde is still optimistic about his future and assures him that he will continue his adventures.

“The story is about a miracle. Find happiness, whatever it is for you, my challenge is for you to find it,” he said.