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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:36 p.m., Monday, April 1, 2002

Shark attack victim tells story on 'Today'

Associated Press

The Kaua'i teen-ager who lost his foot in a shark attack last week told his story to a national television audience this morning.

Hoku Aki appeared on NBC's "Today" show by satellite from the Queen's Medical Center, where he continues to recover from his injuries.

The 17-year-old Aki said he's still in good spirits and is looking forward to getting back to Kaua'i High School.

"I really want to just get back to doing everything I used to do before as soon as possible," he told "Today" anchor Katie Couric. "It is my senior year and I'm not planning on having anything holding me back."

Aki appeared on the show along with Nancy and David Roberts, two tourists from Colorado who came to his aid after he swam to shore following the attack last Monday.

Aki was attacked while body boarding in murky water off Brennecke Beach near Poipu on Kaua'i's south shore.

Doctors said last week that Aki had been up and walking with the use of a walker two days after having surgery to amputate his leg above the knee on Tuesday. Doctors expect the athletic high school senior to be walking and eventually running with a prosthetic leg within a few months.

His orthopedic surgeon, Byron Izuka, today also announced a fund has been established at Queen's to help the 17-year-old student.