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Boy bitten by shark in Florida off critical list

Jessie Arbogast is beginning to respond to noise and light, his doctor says.
Jessie Arbogast is beginning to respond to noise and light, his doctor says.  

PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) -- Jessie Arbogast was upgraded from critical to serious condition Friday, two weeks after a shark attack severed his right arm and nearly drained the 8-year-old of all his blood.

"Jessie has made a number of slight improvements through the week that indicate that, while he is still acutely ill, he is no longer in any immediate danger of death," said. Dr. Rob Patterson, pediatrician at Sacred Heart Children's hospital, where Jessie is a patient.

The boy remains in a light coma with stable vital signs. He continues to show slight neurological improvements daily, Patterson said.

On July 6, Jessie was wading in knee-deep water at the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola when he was mauled by a 7-foot bull shark, which tore off his arm and a large portion of his thigh.

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His uncle, Vance Flosenzier, wrestled the shark to shore and helped retrieve the boy's arm from the shark's mouth, allowing surgeons to reattach the limb in a nearly 12-hour procedure.

The injuries drained Jessie of nearly all his blood and left him without a pulse or blood pressure for almost 30 minutes, which damaged nearly all of the boy's organs.

Jessie continues to receive kidney dialysis, and doctors said they are unclear about the extent of damage, if any, to his brain.

"Jessie is beginning to respond to external stimulation like changes in noise and light," Patterson said. "However, nothing seems purposeful at this time."

• International Shark Attack File

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