COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Hunter Treschl is back in high school, hanging out with friends and seemingly undaunted by an unprovoked shark attack this summer.
The 16-year-old lost part of his left arm in the attack off the coast of Oak Island, North Carolina. He was in waist deep water with his cousin at the time.
Hunter is from Colorado Springs and is now back home.
CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll asked the teenager “Had you thought about sharks in the ocean before?”
He didn’t hesitate when he answered “no.”
Several times a year, Treschl visits relatives in North Carolina. The highlight is always swimming in the ocean.
“What I remember is I felt something against my legs, next thing I know a shark is on my arm, bit off my arm.”
“Do you remember panicking?” McCarroll asked.
“No, honestly I think I was pretty calm.”
Treschl sees himself as neither a victim nor a hero. He says he’s simply a high school student, learning to do his homework with one arm — which he finds slightly inconvenient.
And his brush with danger? He quickly brushes that off.
“You imagine when you lose an arm it’s big deal. Once it actually happens, well I kind of get on and manage.”
He is indeed getting on with the routine of life; learning the best ways to work out and stay fit from para athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Joe Berenyi lost his arm in a construction accident, and he is a now a medal-winning paralympic cyclist.
“He’s doing way better than I did when it happened to me,” Berenyi said. “On the surface it looks like he’s handling everything perfectly.”
Treschl shrugs off such praise, preferring to concentrate on learning from those who have already adapted well.
“It’s great to meet someone who has dealt with the same thing. It’s like a jumpstart instead of figuring it out myself, I can ask him,” Treschl said.
Treschl told CBS4 he’s surprised by the interest in his story, and baffled by those who suggest he has limitations.
“I don’t think it’s going to stop me from doing anything,” he said. “I just think I’m lucky to have what I do have.”
Treschl said he’s thrilled to be home with his dog, and thankful that his life — as he sees it — is just as happy as it was before the shark attack.
Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.