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Moore Haven alligator attack victim back home

Jul. 15, 2012
Raw Audio-Alligator Attack 911 Call
Raw Audio-Alligator Attack 911 Call: Raw 911 audio from the alligator attack on Monday in Moore Haven.


Click here to donate and help alligator attack victim Kaleb “Fred” Langdale buy a prosthetic arm

Half of Moore Haven turned out Sunday to welcome back 17-year-old Fred Langdale nearly a week after an alligator bit off his right arm.

Langdale left the hospital Sunday and was treated to a crowd of well wishers and family members holding signs and cheering as he returned to his Langdale Road home with his family, his mother Felinda said.

“He’s doing really good,” she said. “He’s got a lot of visitors and bunch of girls were up there to see him.”

Although he was resting as night fell Sunday, Mrs. Langdale said that now it was in his own bed.

“He’s going to do better here than he did in the hospital,” she said, making the point that recovering at home would make the healing easier for him.

She said he was making jokes about the attack and was generally in good spirits.

“That’s what he’s all about, he never sees the bad side of anything,” she said.

Mrs. Langdale said her son was taken off antibiotics and was pretty much told that he was free to move around. “He’s got to keep it up as much as possible,” she said. “But he can do anything as long as the swelling stays down.”

She added that he was also taken off antibiotics per doctor’s orders. “The bite was very, very clean,” she said.

Mrs. Langdale said that her son was looking forward to his senior year at Moore Haven High School. “He’s already talked to his Ag teacher,” she said. “He’s the main welder for that class.”

Langdale has said he wants to be an electrician.

Mom loves it

Asked how she felt to have her son home after his encounter with the gator, Mrs. Langdale said: “I’m loving it.”

Earlier Sunday, the self-proclaimed outdoorsman took his first steps outside as he left Lee Memorial Hospital.

He said it felt good to finally be out of the hospital, and was looking forward to getting some sleep and getting back to the life he loves.

“As soon as my arm heals, I’m going to go back swimming in the river. That’s probably the first thing on my list,” he says.

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Langdale lost the lower portion of his right arm to an alligator while swimming in the Caloosahatchee River with friends Monday afternoon near his Moore Haven home.

Langdale has said he offered his arm so the gator wouldn’t get his torso, and he’s glad it was him and not one of his friends who met the animal face-to-face.

He will be back at the hospital in about 2 weeks to have his stitches taken out, then he’ll be fitted for a prosthetic arm about 4 to 6 weeks later.

He says he’s not too worried about what happens next. “It was my biggest fear but now after it happened, I’m like, I can still do this, still do that, won’t slow me down. Playing X-box, that’s probably about it, everything else I’ve been looking up on the computer, I can do with a prosthetic.”

Family, friends and even strangers have showered the 17-year-old with support and gifts. Langdale says he’s thankful. “It feels pretty good that a lot of people are chipping in to help me out so I can get back to doing what I love,” he says.

Langdale’s father Jyles Langdale says, “I’m more proud of my son right now than if he had a doctorate degree, he’s a very special son and a brave young man.”

The younger Langdale says he’s still not afraid of another encounter with a gator. “I still have my left arm,” he says.

Langdale’s mother says the Shriners group in Fort Myers has offered to donate a prosthetic arm for her son and they hope to get different attachments for it as well.

So far, they’ve raised more than $13,000.

News partner WINK News contributed to this story.

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