A Palm Beach Gardens man is lucky to have his leg after he was speared by a stingray last month.
Doctors at St. Mary's Medical Center say 20-year-old Michael Goldstein will make a full recovery and could get back in the water in a matter of weeks.
The surfer says he first thought a shark bit him when he was on the water that day.
He never saw the stingray, but Michael says he felt something on the back of his leg and got out of the water.
Doctors say they don't know for sure, but they suspect a stingray pierced Michael in the back of his knee. When he came to St. Mary's, his trauma surgeon says they needed to operate right away or he could have lost muscle in his leg.
"I felt a punch so I thought I was in shock so I assumed the wound was much bigger," Goldstein said.
"We caught it just in time, by the time he came to the ER and he had a cat scan and they called me, we had him in the operating room in 15 minutes," said trauma surgeon Eugene Misquith, MD.
Stingrays are not usually aggressive unless they feel threatened and are usually on the ocean floor.
Doctors say if you are speared by a stingray apply pressure and first aid immediately and call for help. The southern stingray has a defensive venomous barb located near the base of the tail, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It suggests doing the 'stingray shuffle' which consists of shuffling your feet when you walk in shallow water.
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