Shark victim vows: I will surf again
By WILL JACKSON
MATT McINTOSH still has nightmares about his bloody encounter with a shark off Angels Beach two weeks weeks ago.
The shark, believed to be a twometre bronze whaler, bit into the bodyboarder's leg before leaving him to struggle to shore.
"I don't really dream about what happened," Matt said.
"I dream about what could have happened, if the shark had come back for a second go.
"I dream about having my leg torn completely off, or worse."
Despite the horrifying dreams, Matt said his psychological wounds were healing much faster than his physical injuries.
Ironically, all the media attention focused on the Goonellabah father of two has had a therapeutic affect.
"Telling my story over and over again has actually helped me get through it," he said. "It's meant I haven't kept it all pent up inside."
Matt achieved another milestone in the healing process on the weekend when he returned to the beach where it all happened.
He said returning to the beach brought back a lot of memories.
"It was a bit painful. I never realised how big the paddle back to safety was. It was about 80 metres."
Matt was also able to thank in person Brent McLennan, of Ballina, who called triple-0 after the attack.
Matt said he and his family were also grateful to all the surfers, ambulance officers, Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter personnel, nurses, doctors, surgeons and friends who had helped him since the accident.
He said the next step was getting back in the water.
"I'm definitely keen to have a surf with Brent when I'm better, but that's likely to be a while off," Matt said.