LIFE

Pregnant Bethany Hamilton Is Teaching Her Toddler Son To Surf 14 Years After Her Shark Attack

by Caralynn Lippo
Caralynn is a writer, native New Yorker, TV enthusiast, and dog mom to Hobbes.

Bethany Hamilton may have lost a limb in a brutal shark attack, but she’s never let that hold her back!

The pro surfer made headlines back in 2003 when she was attacked by a shark. She wound up losing her left arm at only 13. People all around the world were stunned and inspired by young Bethany’s positivity and the way she quickly bounced back after the incident.

On November 9, 2017, Bethany shared a photo of herself teaching her toddler how to surf. Bent down on one knee, the now 27-year-old mom (who is expecting her second baby) directs her son into place atop a surfboard. The heartwarming mommy-son moment was captured by Mike Coots, a fellow shark-attack survivor, shark advocate, and longtime friend.

Scroll through below to see the sweet family photo and to learn more about what Bethany’s life has been like since the shark attack!

Thumbnail Photos: Soulsurfer.com // Instagram / Bethany Hamilton

[H/T: People]

The caption Bethany posted read: “Tobias, baby and I surfing this last week!!!” It showed 2-year-old Tobias fearlessly hopping up on a surfboard with his mom.

In the years since the headline-making shark attack, Bethany has repeatedly proven that her injury won’t prevent her from achieving her dreams.

Bethany was only a young teen when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her on October 31, 2003, severing her left arm just below the shoulder. She’d been out for a morning surf in Kauai with her best friend, Alana Blanchard, when the attack took place.

By the time Alana’s family was able to rush her to the hospital, she’d lost over 60% of her blood and was in hypovolemic shock. Miraculously, she survived.

At the time, she was a rising star on the surfing scene and had already won first place in several surfing competitions.

While this might have been a career ending injury for some, Bethany was back on the board just one month after the attack. Within two years, she’d won her first national surfing title.

In the years since the attack, Bethany has continued to work as a professional surfer. She’s also embraced her status as an inspirational role model to others.

Her book, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board, was even turned into a 2011 feature film.

Bethany also thrived in her personal life.

In 2013, the champion pro surfer married Adam Dirks, a youth minister she’d met through mutual friends the previous year.

In 2015, Bethany gave birth to the couple’s first child, Tobias.

“He is named after his great grandpa Tobias meaning, ‘The goodness of God,'” Bethany explained in an Instagram post announcing his birth. “Adam and I [are] so in love with our lil guy and are stoked to share life with him!”

Based on how often Bethany shares photos of Tobias in and around the water, it’s clear that the little boy loves it just as much as both of his parents!

On top of surfing lessons with mom, Tobias is also preparing for his new role as a big brother.

Bethany and Adam announced that they were expecting their second child in a sweet Instagram video (featuring Tobias) on October 8, 2017.

Coincidentally, she’s pregnant at the same time as her best friend, Alana!

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