A snorkeling excursion became a life-changing event for Tiffany Johnson. In June 2017, the young mother of three was exploring a reef while on vacation in the Bahamas. As she was treading water, she felt a tug on her arm and found herself eye-to-eye with a shark. The shark bit her once on the shoulder and again on her right arm, severing it just below the elbow.
Tiffany underwent emergency surgery in the Bahamas. She was then flown to her hometown of Charlotte, NC, where she had a second exploratory surgery.
As luck would have it, two surgeons who specialized in targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) surgery were located in Charlotte. They took her case directly and recommended TMR surgery to speed her recovery and to prevent a lifetime of post-amputation pain.
“I thought, this was a miracle and a blessing.” Within a week, Tiffany had three surgeries – the original amputation in the Bahamas, the exploratory surgery back home in Charlotte, and the TMR surgery at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center. “I was on the fast track,” she said.