Tiffany Johnson lost her arm in a shark attack. Picture: Fox 8
Tiffany Johnson lost her arm in a shark attack. Picture: Fox 8

Shark bites off woman's arm, but she thanks God

A US woman's Bahamas holiday turned into a nightmare after she lost her right arm in a vicious shark attack.

Tiffany and James Johnson, from North Carolina, were enjoying the last stop of their cruise trip last week when the mother-of-three encountered the shark while snorkelling in a shallow reef, WSOC reported.

"I wasn't in pain, it just felt like I had bumped into something so I just casually turned to my right to look to see and that's when I was face-to-face with the shark," Mrs Johnson, 32, told the news station.

Mrs Johnson recalled seeing the shark's mouth clamped on to her arm. She struggled with shark for a few minutes before it bit her arm off.

"He had my whole arm in his mouth and he was just floating there, just staring at me," she said.

"I kept trying to yank my hand back and the last time I yanked he had cut it clean off so I was able to actually get free."

Her husband, who was close by in a boat when his wife was attacked, jumped in to help when he heard a scream.

Doctors in the Bahamas stopped the bleeding in her arm, but she couldn't get back to the states because of passports and customs issues.

A medical evacuation company eventually agreed to pay for the flight cost to Carolinas Medical Centre.

Mrs Johnson is scheduled to go into surgery later this week, preparing her for a prosthetic arm.

"I'm just so thankful. I'm thankful to be here," Mrs Johnson said after the attack.

"I'm thankful to be able to share this story and I hope, and I know, that it's going to change people's lives because you can't hear this story and not see God in it."

This story originally appeared on Fox News and has been republished here with permission.