Without a doubt, it is the foundation of Erik Norrie’s strong Christian faith that has channeled him towards a speedy recovery following his July 29 shark attack.
He’s finally home from the hospital and happy to report that even after multiple surgeries to repair a massive bite wound, he’s completely off all pain meds and is walking – supporting all of his weight on his shark-ravaged leg without the assist of crutches or a walker.
His primary motivation to heal quickly was getting off his pain meds. “I’ve been involved in many interventions to help people with physical addition to pain medication,” he said. “I was on a three-week drug high in the hospital, and the last thing I wanted was to get addicted to something.” Erik takes multiple trips to the Dominican Republic with his mission group, the Dream Team, which helps people overcome drug addictions. From single homeless people to families, the Dream Team helps those who have become innocently addicted through rehab and others through bad life choices and misuse. “It is way too easy to become addicted,” Erik stated. “And I know the symptoms. You take one pill and all your pain goes away. The next day, you take two pills and feel really great. And the third day, you’re taking three. Before you know it, you are completely addicted to narcotic pain medication.”
Erik reports that it is “an absolute miracle” that he is alive. “I am thankful for all of the prayers from my friends and family. I’m a firm believer that that is what’s making a difference. I should have bled to death, but the whole turn of events following the attack were miracles. What are the odds of another boat with a trauma doctor aboard being only three minutes away? I am sure that God would never allow me to go through this without a significant reason to remain alive.”
Currently, Erik is waiting for his doctor to hive him the green light to assume normal day-to-day activities. When asked whether he’ll go spearfishing again, he responded tentatively. “Yes,” he said. “I’ll just be a little more vigilant. You have to always be aware that there are things out there that can kill you.”