Couple who aided presumed shark bite victim in Maryland shares their story

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The couple, who are both medically trained, rushed to help the victim after the attack

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Eyewitness News first told you Tuesday night about the shocking story of a Plains Township girl getting bitten by what medical professionals believe to be a shark.

It happened while she was vacationing with her family Monday in Ocean City, Maryland.

Luckily for the victim, two people on the beach knew exactly what to do in a crisis. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. A nearby couple on the beach, who are both emergency medical providers in Maryland, sprang into action to help 12-year-old Jordan Prushinski just moments after the attack.

And Eyewitness News must warn you, some may find the video in this story disturbing.

“There was an EMT and a nurse that were close by that came right to the scene, they were so helpful getting her prepared to be transported to the hospital. I’d like to thank all them for their good work,” Jordan’s mother, Melissa said.

Lending a helping hand during frightening moments is what registered nurse Brooke Rathell and her husband Doug, Annapolis fire lieutenant and paramedic are trained to do. But on Monday, this emergency happened while they were off-duty, spending a day at the 119th Street Beach in Ocean City, Maryland with their three children.

“Our focus was to be on Jordan and her parents because, you know, mom was obviously tearful, but just really talking to both of them in a calm manner, and us not freaking out is the most important thing to do,” Brooke said.

Keeping calm, the pair helped give first aid to 12-year-old Jordan moments after something had bitten her in shallow water. They also provided support to Jordan’s family, as chaos erupted on the beach.

“They had a beach towel that they kind of were holding around her but I held it up near her face so she couldn’t look down and see the injury itself and was talking to her, I was talking to mom, letting her know what’s going on,” Doug said.

“She was definitely a rock star. She kind of held it together, it was more the sight of it, so my husband held the towel there with mom and I irrigated the wound and both the lifeguard and I and my husband and then the supervisor kind of wrapped everything up,” Brook said.

Help that Jordan’s family says was nothing short of miraculous.

“You see somebody in need, you just offer a hand to help out,” Doug said.

The Ocean City Beach patrol tells Eyewitness News they’re still investigating. And while Jordan is spending the rest of her vacation recovering, the Rathells tell Eyewitness News they hope to see her and her family on the beach again someday.

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