San Onofre State Beach shark attack victim Leeanne Ericson 'fighting for her life'

Posted at 6:49 AM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 02:26:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A woman attacked by a shark off San Onofre State Beach over the weekend remains hospitalized and is "fighting for her life" at a local hospital.

On April 29, Leeanne Ericson was swimming when a shark bit her. Her mother, Christine McKnerney Leidle, said on a GoFundMe page set up for her daughter's medical costs that the shark "tore her right back leg from her glute to her knee."

Leidle told 10News her daughter's boyfriend, who was surfing in the immediate area, quickly came to her aid and put her on the surfboard to get her back to shore.

Leidle said a man on shore, and another who had just completed his EMT training, used a surfboard leash as a tourniquet. Leidle believes that and the quick response by first responders helped keep her daughter alive.

"If any one of us weren't there I think it would have been so much harder," explained Thomas Williams, one of the several witnesses who helped pull Ericson ashore.

Williams helped his friend Hunter Robinson tie the tourniquet to help stop the heavy bleeding. 

"One of our other friends lifted up her hip and slid it underneath," Williams said. "I just tied it off and held it in place until we got to shore."

Ericson, 36, was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital, where she "has a long [road] ahead with several surgeries to go," according to her mother.

As of Tuesday morning, nearly $34,000 has been raised in support of Ericson, who her mother described as "a single mom with three young children who depend on her."

Donations can be made to the GoFundMe set up by the family or at any Marine Pacific Credit Union branch bank. 

Due to the shark attack, officials shut down the beach until Wednesday morning.

There have been no other shark sightings since the attack.