“She felt something bump into her, hard," Dasha Koltunyuk told Good Morning America of mom Tatyana Koltunyu
The family of a woman who survived an “extremely rare” shark attack at a New York City beach earlier this month is opening up about what she remembers from that fateful day.
Tatyana Koltunyuk, 65, was bitten by a shark in her left leg on Aug. 7 while on a swim at Rockaway Beach, according to statements from the New York City police and parks departments that were previously obtained by PEOPLE.
Her daughter Dasha told Good Morning America that her mother came face-to-face with the shark before she was attacked.
“She was in the water as she normally was towards the end of the day and she felt something bump into her, hard,” Dasha told the outlet. “And then she saw the shark on its belly up look at her.”
“She described looking at its eyes very vividly and just seeing it," Dasha added.
Dasha said her mother still recalls vivid details about the creature, like its sharp teeth.
"She saw all of its teeth. She described how green and dirty they were,” Dasha told GMA. “And then the shark attacked and she remembers a cloud of blood in the water.”
Tatyana was transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center “in serious but stable condition,” the New York City parks department said in a statement after the attack. Dasha said her mother’s doctor was “in awe” that Tatyana was alive.
Despite her survival, her family previously said the attack left her with a “permanent disability” and that her medical team predicted that her recovery will take years.
"Her medical team has predicted that recovery will take several years of intense physical therapy and close medical monitoring, during which time she will have significantly limited mobility," her family said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
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The attack came at a time when Koltunyuk, who emigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1996, “was eagerly anticipating her retirement."
“She talked about swimming in the ocean every day, walking around the city with a new puppy, and traveling with her daughter and son-in-law,” the family added.
Speaking with GMA, Dasha said that her mom still can't wait to get back to the water.
“When she's on her feet, in whatever form that is, one of the first things she wants to do is go back to the beach with a bottle of champagne,” she told the outlet.
So far, her mother has undergone seven surgeries with the potential for more ahead, Dasha told GMA. "I think the fact that she's alive is a miracle," Dasha said, adding that her life has always been about persistence.
“She's a fighter,” Dasha added.
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Read the original article on People.