An elderly woman who was horrifically injured in a shark attack off a New York City beach has recalled the terrifying encounter.

Tatyana Koltunyuk, 65, was swimming at Rockaway Beach in Queens at around 6pm on August 7 when the predator ripped a 20-pound chunk of flesh from her leg. 

She remembers seeing the shark’s ‘green and dirty’ teeth before it attacked and then the ‘cloud of blood’ in the water which followed. 

Ukrainian widow Koltunyuk felt herself ‘losing energy’ after the predator clamped down on her thigh and she counted to nine so she could make it back to shore. 

A quick-thinking police officer wrapped a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding before she was rushed to hospital in critical condition. She has undergone seven surgeries and her recovery is expected to take years. 

Tatyana Koltunyuk, who was horrifically injured in a shark attack off a New York City beach, has recalled the terrifying encounter

Tatyana Koltunyuk, who was horrifically injured in a shark attack off a New York City beach, has recalled the terrifying encounter

She was swimming at Rockaway Beach in Queens at around 6pm on August 7 when the predator ripped a 20-pound chunk of flesh from her leg

She was swimming at Rockaway Beach in Queens at around 6pm on August 7 when the predator ripped a 20-pound chunk of flesh from her leg

Koltunyuk's daughter Dasha told Good Morning America it is a miracle her mother is alive following the shark attack

Koltunyuk’s daughter Dasha told Good Morning America it is a miracle her mother is alive following the shark attack

Koltunyuk’s daughter Dasha told Good Morning America it is a miracle her mother is alive following the shark attack. 

‘[She] felt something bump into her hard, and then she saw the shark on its belly up look at her,’ she said. 

‘She saw all of its teeth. She described how green and dirty they were. And then the shark attacked. She remembers a cloud of blood in the water.

‘The fact that she’s alive is a miracle.’ 

Koltunyuk credits the police officer who stemmed the bleeding before first responders arrived with saving her life. 

Her family shared a picture of her laying in a hospital bed with her injuries. 

The shark attack left a deep gash which exposed the artery, muscle and most of her femur. 

‘The surgeon said he’d never seen anything like it,’ her son-in-law Gregg Kallor said. 

Koltunyuk is convinced it was a great white shark that attacked her, although the teeth marks suggest it was a bull or thresher shark. 

Koltunyuk remembers seeing the shark's 'green and dirty' teeth before it attacked and then the 'cloud of blood' in the water which followed

Koltunyuk remembers seeing the shark’s ‘green and dirty’ teeth before it attacked and then the ‘cloud of blood’ in the water which followed

Workers with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation plant a red flag warning visitors swimming is prohibited on Rockaway beach on Tuesday, August 8

Workers with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation plant a red flag warning visitors swimming is prohibited on Rockaway beach on Tuesday, August 8

However a source said it is feasible the predator could have been a great white shark.

Dasha added: ‘My mom is in love with nature, with animals. And I do think that she’d want me to tell the public to not hate on sharks, but to do everything we can to swim safely.’ 

Her mother will likely need years of intense physical therapy but still manages to remain positive. 

She is scheduled to have at least one more surgery and faces a long road to recovery.

Koltunyuk has reassured her family that ‘at least [my] life certainly isn’t boring’, according to ABC News correspondent Trevor Ault. 

‘She’s a fighter. And she’s fought for everything in our lives on her own,’ Dasha added.

Her family started a fundraising page on GoFundMe to help pay for medical needs and it has so far raised $89,000 of the $150,000 goal. 

‘Our mother is an empathetic, thoughtful, and deeply proud woman who would never ask for anything, always putting others before herself. So we are asking for help on her behalf,’ Dasha and her husband wrote on the page.

Her daughter claimed her mother’s needs will include ‘ongoing services and consultations, mobility assistance device(s), intensive physical and psychological therapy, making her home environment accessible and comfortable, and transportation to and from appointments.’

Dasha started a fundraising page on GoFundMe to help pay for her mother's medical needs and it has so far raised $89,000 of the $150,000 goal

Dasha started a fundraising page on GoFundMe to help pay for her mother’s medical needs and it has so far raised $89,000 of the $150,000 goal

The coast of Long Island is no stranger to attacks, however, with six already reported this summer

The coast of Long Island is no stranger to attacks, however, with six already reported this summer

Koltunyuk emigrated to the US with her husband at the age of three, only for him to die of a heart attack weeks later.

Despite not speaking English and being unable to continue her work as a marine engineer, she ‘worked tirelessly to support our family,’ according to her daughter.

‘She made sure that I could take ballet lessons and piano lessons and have the best possible education; she took me to art museums and concerts and theater performances; we walked in every garden and park in the city that we could find. She worked a grueling life to ensure that I could thrive.’

At the time of the attack, Koltunyuk, who is retired, had dreams of swimming the ocean, traveling the world and mothering a new puppy. 

The last shark attack along the Rockway beach was in 1953 when a 15-year-old boy was bitten by a shark that was hooked in his fishing line. Prior to that, the last Rockaway Beach shark attack was in 1909, according to the New York Daily News.

The coast of Long Island is no stranger to attacks, however, with six already reported this summer.

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