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“God Has Used My Life”: Legendary American Surfer, Who Lost Her Arm in a Tragic Shark Attack, Shares an Emotional Update

Published 02/28/2023, 9:30 AM EST

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They say history is written by those who did the unthinkable against all odds. Well, one-armed pro-surfer, Bethany Hamilton, personifies this proverb as she keeps defying norms to achieve what is beyond belief. She was just 13 when she fell prey to a vicious shark attack and lost her arm in the process. However, now it’s been two decades since the brutal accident and Hamilton is still going stronger than ever. 

Despite losing one of the most precious organs of her body to the ocean’s predator, Hamilton found her solace in the infinity of the turquoise water. From trouncing the ferocious pipeline to framing countless achievements on her wall of fame, the 33-year-old surfer covered it all. Now, as an epitome of her gratitude towards all her fans, Hamilton has penned a heartfelt message.

Bethany Hamilton pens a gratifying note for her fans


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Recently, the Hawaiian surfer took to her Facebook handle to share genuine praise for her fandom. Expressing her gratitude, the surfer wrote, “I am so honored to be able to keep bringing hope to other people. It has been so amazing to see how God has used my life in ways I never imagined!”. Encouraging her social media family to enlighten the lives of others, she added, “You can be a light to others in your life if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone too!”.

In her cordial message, Hamilton further conceded, “Living my life so much in the public’s eye has been extremely challenging and yet very beautiful at the same time! Receiving letters from people all over the world, saying I inspired them to keep going as they faced their hardship… led me to step outside of my comfort zone to encourage and bless others”.


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Despite being a hurdle, Hamilton made her accident a path to redemption, as she never gave up her beloved sport and continued to galvanize her fans with incredible performances. “As much as I wanted to hide on my little island, I decided to enter into the spotlight, and I hoped that my story would continue to be a light to others”, penned the surfing champion. 


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Bethany Hamilton: An Inspiration to millions

In October 2003, Hamilton was lounging on her surfboard with her left arm submerged under the water. Little did she know, at that moment, her life was going to change completely. A 14-foot tiger shark clamped down on her arm and ripped it brutally from Hamilton’s shoulder. Though she escaped with her life, the surfer lost her left arm forever.


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Following the incident, many would’ve called it quits right there, but not Bethany Hamilton. She indeed was physically stigmatized, but she refused to let that scar damage her emotionally. Since that point on, Hamilton has been unstoppable. Interestingly, in 2004, the surfing champion won her first national surfing title. This is the story of Bethany Hamilton – a fighter, a survivor, and a daredevil surfer.

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Purva Jain

508 articles

Purva Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Mody University of Science and Technology. Purva is an avid reader and author of 3 books that are published in national and international marketplaces.

Edited By: Anupama Ghosh