A Florida man tangled with death and came out the victor earlier this month. In order to film a video for his outdoor adventure company, Juan Carlos La Verde went for a swim off the deck in Lake Thonotosassa, Florida when he was surprised and attacked by an alligator 12 feet in length.
Footage of the incident was captured by a drone on Wednesday, August 3. La Verde, 34 years old, had the enormous alligator clamp its mighty jaws around his head. By some miracle, he was able to break free and escape to the shore. However, the episode has left him hospitalized with a broken jaw and a partially crushed skull.
Speaking to the Tampa-based WFLA-TV, La Verde recounted that “It was just one large bite. I heard my jaw snap and then I just continued swimming.” After his confrontation with the reptile, La Verde was expeditiously taken to the Tampa General Hospital where he received medical attention in the form of a six-hour surgery in order to repair the damage that was done to his jaw and skull.
Although it was a harrowing near-death experience for La Verde, he remains positive. He urges others to find joy in the situation and tells the TV station that his story is “about a miracle and also a call to action.”
Reportedly, alligator attacks are very rare, even in Florida where there is a large population of the reptile.
The Florida Conservation Commission states that there have been 442 unprovoked alligator bites or six yearly in the state ranging from the year 1948 to 2021. The commission also reported that 26 of those bites have been fatal.
Watch the footage below;