Family of Kaleb Langdale, Florida teen whose arm was bitten off by alligator, asks for donations

9:27 PM, Jul 14, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Teen loses part of arm in alligator attack

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  • UPDATE: The family of Kaleb "Fred" Langdale has raised almost $13,000 online to help pay for a prosthetic arm, as well as other medical expenses.  

    Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- Family of the teenager who lost half his right arm in an alligator attack Monday is asking the community to help buy him a prosthesis.

    Kaleb "Fred" Langdale, an incoming senior at Moore Haven Junior-Senior High School, was attacked while swimming in the Caloosahatchee River with friends. Doctors could not reattach the arm, but performed surgery Wednesday to make sure there was no new dead tissue.

    LaDawn Hayes, Langdale's aunt, said he is doing well, but doctors haven't said when he will be released.

    "I mean, there's pain," Hayes said. "And he's hurting a little bit, but as far as his emotional (state) and everything, he's doing good. He's doing great."

    Lee Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night listed Langdale in good condition.

    Hayes set up a page on for donations toward Langdale's prosthetic arm. The site had raised more than $300 Wednesday night, with individual donations ranging from $5-$100.

    The family has been so busy at the hospital it hasn't had time to determine if medical insurance will cover the cost of a prosthesis. There are also physical therapy bills to worry about, and the helicopter ride to the hospital.

    "There's definitely going to be a mound of medical bills," Hayes said.

    Langdale wanted to be an electrician, and he loves driving his airboat, hunting and welding, according to the donation page.

    In a 911 call released Wednesday, Langdale's friend alternately asked the operator for help and yelled at Langdale to get out of the water.

    LISTEN: Audio of the 911 alligator attack

    "A gator just got my friend and he's in the water," the caller told the 911 operator.

    When asked how bad the injury is, the caller said he didn't know, but Langdale's arm wasn't attached.

    Hayes said Langdale has remained positive throughout his ordeal, including the attack, hospital procedures and media interviews. Right before he was taken into surgery Wednesday, he told family he wanted the right arm of the alligator that attacked him. He is also excited to drive his airboat when he gets out of the hospital. The boat is powered by a control on the driver's left side, so Langdale won't have any trouble getting back on the water.

    The teenager has received a large amount of support from the community since Monday, Hayes said.

    "Yesterday, my sister said at one point there was about 25 people in his room," she said Wednesday. "We're thankful for just everybody saying a prayer for him."

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