(FOX NEWS) - The North Carolina teenager who had to get her leg amputated after being attacked by a shark over the weekend said Monday she has a long recovery ahead, but still has respect for marine life -- even sharks.
High school junior Paige Winter, 17, issued a statement through Vidant Medical Center in Greenville thanking people for helping her following the attack at Fort Macon State Park on Sunday.
"Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be okay," she said.
Winter added that, while she has a long road to recovery ahead of her, including additional surgeries, she is keeping focused on the future, even while thanking doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital for their care.
Paige Winter, 17, had a leg amputated after being attacked by a shark on the North Carolina coast over the weekend.
"I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse," she said.
The hospital described the teen as "an unwavering advocate" for marine life, and says Winter "wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."
On a GoFundMe page set up to cover her medical costs, Paige's mother Marcy Goodrum Winter said she was still "pretty groggy but cracking jokes."
She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people," her mother said on Facebook.
The incident happened around 12:20 p.m. at Fort Macon State Park, located near Atlantic Beach.