Shark Attack Victim Recovery Fund

"Joe Tanner Attacks Shark" that is how this story will go down in history. Joe Tanner, 29, of Portland Oregon, was attacked by a shark October 10th, 2016 at Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. His right leg was bitten from ankle to thigh, but he was able to escape from the mouth of a large, presumably Great White shark, by punching it in the gills. (Joe has said, "I hope that shark is in ICU after the beating I gave him!") Joe was surfing with friends at the time of the attack, he notified other surfers to get out of the water, and his friends were quick to respond to what was happening. He was brought up to the beach with his surf board and emergency services were called.

Joe is a natural born caregiver and he has dedicated his life to caring for others. He has been training to be in the medical field since graduating from Lake City High School, Coeur d'Alene Idaho in 2006. He was a student of Biology at University of Portland, class of 2010 and continued on to study nursing there as well, after receiving a large merit scholarship. He has worked at the VA hospital in Portland and recently completed his trauma internship and is now working as a Critical Care Registered Nurse at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. His training, combined with his will-power and bravery, saved his own life. Joe was able to direct friends and first responders on how to properly wrap the tourniquet around his leg, asking questions about where the bleeding was coming from, he even thought to give his blood type to the medical team. Joe was airlifted to Legacy Emanuel in Portland for treatment. His family rushed to Portland from Coeur d'Alene Idaho to be with him during this traumatic time. Multiple puncture wounds were found and multiple surgeries were necessary to repair the damage cause by the shark. He is still not out of the woods yet and he will likely need several additional surgeries in order to preserve as much of his leg function as possible.  Joe is blessed to be surrounded by his family, friends, and the talented doctors and nurses he knows so well.

Joe has always been an inspiration to those who know him, whether is was working on the fishing boats in Alaska during the summer to pay his way through school, or dedicating his free time to treating orphans in Zambia. Joe is full of life and energy, he's an active, adventurous guy, from snowboarding in the winter to surfing in the summer, even taking first place in competitive open water swim races. Joe loves to be outside and in the water, having fun with friends. The road to recovery will be long and difficult, but he is expected to walk on both legs again and he will continue to be the most badass guys we all know and love so much. Joe will need support for long term care while he is recovering and so this fund is set-up for his recovery needs after he leaves the hospital.

When we told Joe that we were going to start a fund for his recovery he asked that if any extra funds can be raised that they will be donated to the orphanage project near and dear to his family, Home of Hope, in Nakonde, Zambia. This speaks so much to Joe's character, that he would much rather give to others, even in his own time of need. He is thankful for his life and his leg and he knows that without the amazing care of his friends and first responders, the story might have ended differently.

Please help by sharing this brave young man's incredible story and/or donating to this cause, so that he can continue his mission to help heal all the people in this world and continue to inspire us all. We thank you for all the support you've given in calls, texts and prayers, they are felt in the deepest part of all of our hearts, especially Joe's.


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    • $75 
    • 39 mos
  • Ian McNeely 
    • $40 
    • 46 mos
  • Emma Kingsberg 
    • $30 
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  • Rick Freeman 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • eva kemp 
    • $75 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Joe Tanner 
Portland, OR
Roye Ely 

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