We are pleased to report that Natalia has been released from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. She will continue to undergo treatment and recovery. You may visit her website for more information or to make a donation. Natalia's Statement, made September 21, 2001:
"I want to thank everyone for their support. The letters you have written are thoughtful and I am grateful for all the warm words. They have been very helpful in my recovery. I am also very grateful to all of the doctors, nurses and others in the hospitals who have taken care of me. Due to their help, I am quickly recovering. I also want to thank Sergei's parents for their support despite the loss of their son.
All of this support has helped me through this most difficult time in my life due to the loss of Sergei, the love of my life. I do remember what happened to me very well. I was very shocked. It was a great loss for me and I do not want to talk of it now. I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts."
Statement from Josh and Yana, Friends of Natalia and Sergei
"On behalf of Natalia, we wish to thank the family and friends of both Natalia and Sergei, and the so many new friends who have offered help since the accident for their support and well wishes.
This obviously has been a very traumatic time for us all. We lost Sergei, a tragic loss of a bright, kind young man and Natalia is coping not only with that loss, but with her own injuries. She is a very brave woman who is dealing with everything in a very courageous way. As the doctors have said, she faces still more surgeries to deal with her injuries and while we expect her road to recovery to be successful, we also know it will be very difficult and painful.
She is strong and we have every confidence in her doctors and the fine care she is receiving from Sentara. We would also like to mention that a fund has been established to help Natalia deal with her mounting medical expenses and with helping her transition back to her life when she is released from the hospital." Latest News:
Virginian-Pilot Story, 10/10/01, "Shark victim takes steps to new life"
Virginian-Pilot Story, "Hospital Sets Up Fund for Shark Attack Victim"
Natalia & Sergei
You may contribute to a fund created for Natalia and her family. The fund has been established to help Natalia deal with her mounting medical expenses and with helping her transition back to her life when she is released from the hospital.
Dr. Riblet's Statement
At the September 21, 2001, press conference, Dr. Riblet offered an update on Natalia's progress:
"It has been several weeks since she was injured and she has done remarkably well. We have closed the stump of her left leg and have her in a walking prosthesis. In fact, she has been up and walking in the past couple of days."
"Her recovery is a tribute to her strength and courage. She is a remarkable woman."
"We plan to start the skin grafts in the buttocks area in the next couple of weeks."
"We are excited at how well she's done. There have been no complications. She's doing better than expected."