FORNEY, TEXAS — The Orona family of Forney is celebrating being home tonight after their daughter survived a shark attack on a Florida beach over the weekend.
Friends, family and teammates lined the streets of the Shamrock subdivision near Forney Thursday afternoon to welcome home Kylee Orona, a Forney ISD seventh grade student who narrowly missed having her foot severed in Cocoa Beach, Florida after being attacked by shark in the surf.
Orona was in Florida this week representing the Texas Oilers, a select softball team at the 2020 USSSA All-American Games. After a morning of evaluations, Orona and another teammate from Forney visited the nearby beach Sunday afternoon.
While wading in the knee high surf, Orona’s right leg was bitten by a shark. Orona, a catcher, was able to use her strong legs to kick the shark away and remove her foot from its bite. The shark then attempted to bite her left leg and drag her back into the water, but was unsuccessful. Orona bravely fought the shark and retreated out of the water till she was out of harms way.
Thanks to her friend and teammate who helped Orona free from the shark and stop the bleeding, she was quickly transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Orlando according to family members.
Orona underwent surgery on Monday where doctors reported no signs of tendon or nerve damage, but says without the young athlete’s quick thinking, strong will and mental toughness that her foot could have been severed completely.
While Orona still has a lot of healing and rehab ahead of her, doctors are optimistic that she will make a full recover and discharged her to return to Texas.
A Talty Police Department cruiser escorted the family back into their subdivision today where they were greeted with dozens of friends, family and teammates and members of the Forney Fire Department to welcome them home.
“We are a family of believers,” says Janie Gorski, Kylee’s paternal grandmother who spoke to inForney.com prior to Kylee’s arrival.
“Every single part of this story has been a miracle and we are so grateful to God that Kylee is coming home to us. She is so strong and so tough, so very blessed. I am hoping this special homecoming will be just the medicine she needs,” Gorski said.
The crowd armed with signs and balloons cheered Kylee and her mom has they drove up their street. Both were overwhelmed with emotion.
“We are so just so grateful for the love and support of so many,” Ronda Orona told the crowd through tears, “thank you so much for your prayers. Kylee felt them. We felt them.”