July 26, 2011 -- Lucy Mangum, 6, looked up at her parents and asked them to say a prayer for her after a shark bit her leg on a North Carolina beach.
Lucy told ABC News that she asked her mom and dad to pray for "my leg to heal."
Lucy was with her parents and sister at Ocrakoke Beach on the Outer Banks on July 19 when what they think was a tiger shark sneaked up from behind them and sank its teeth in Lucy's leg.
"I only saw its tail," she said. "I felt like ... it almost stayed there."
Lucy's mother, Jordan Mangum, immediately grabbed her daughter.
"I heard her scream so I immediately turned towards her and at that point saw the shark right next to her," Jordan Mangum said. "I ran over to her and at this point it hadn't really crossed my mind that she had been bitten, I just wanted to get her out of the water…I saw that she was injured pretty badly... it was a pretty big gash."
She crouched down and cradled Lucy, applying pressure to her wound.
"It was pretty surreal," she said.
The shark had bitten Lucy twice, once between the ankle and lower foot and once between the ankle and lower leg.
Her husband was farther out in the water but swam to his family when he heard their screams.
"I ran over and ... we got her up on the beach and we had Jordan move her hand and the entire lower leg…filleted itself open…It was a pretty significant wound and I noticed there was an arterial bleed there and I just realized right away we were going to have to get her to a medical center," Craig Mangum said.
Lucy was taken by helicopter to a hospital. The little girl is expected to fully recover and will begin undergoing physical therapy.
"She'll be in a wheelchair for a little bit but all of her pieces are there...she's going to walk and function pretty well, dance and run and play like she should," Craig Mangum said.
Experts say there are sharks of all kinds living off the coast, and in the evenings they move closer to the beaches, searching for food.
The Mangums plan to head back into the water once Lucy is able to, and they call what happened to Lucy a "fluke."
While they'll head to the beach, they said that they will go earlier in the day.
"We were told not to be at the beach...later in the afternoon and that's when we were on the beach…I think we'll stay out of the water during suppertime," Jordan Mangum said.