This Firefighter Was Attacked By A 12-Foot Long Alligator While Swimming In A Lake And Survived

If you asked anyone in the City of Oldsmar, they would tell you that J.C. La Verde is a giver who has dedicated his entire life to helping others. 

Now it is J.C.’s turn that needs some help, and his family is humbly requesting any assistance from the community for him after J.C. was attacked by what he believes was a 12-foot alligator in Lake Thonotosassa on August 3.

According to the GoFundMe post created for J.C.’s medical fundraising, J.C. was swimming in Lake Thonotosassa to prepare for an upcoming event when he encountered the alligator.

“That thing was huge. That thing wasn’t a little gator. It would be funny if it were a little gator,” J.C. said in an interview with WFTS.

Due to the attack, J.C. suffered significant injuries to his head and face. But fortunately, he was able to escape, made it to the land, and contacted Hillsborough County Emergency Services for help.

“He was rushed to Tampa General Hospital under Trauma Alert criteria, where he underwent a six-hour surgery to repair and reconstruct the damage to his skull and jaw,” Kenney Ceron, the creator of J.C.’s GoFundMe page, explained.

After the emergency surgery, J.C. was transferred to the ICU to be closely monitored. Unfortunately, his jaw still needed another surgery as of August 10. He was also required to wear a helmet to protect the right side of his head.

As his family and friends described, J.C. has always been a fighter with a great spirit. In just eight days at the hospital, he had recovered well to be discharged.

GoFundMe; pictured above is J.C.

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