Shark left tooth in Craig Ison's thigh
UPDATE 4.10pm: EVANS Head surfer Craig Ison is recovering in the Gold Coast University Hospital following specialist surgery which included removing a Great White shark tooth from his thigh.
A former boxer, Mr Ison was surfing at Main Beach when he was attacked on Friday morning and punched the Great White shark four times.
Following surgery at Lismore Base Hospital, on Saturday the 51-year-old was airlifted to the Gold Coast for further operations.
Mr Ison's good friend Tom Augustine said his mate had undergone 10 hours surgery since Friday.
"There was not much hand left; when he punched the shark, I reckon the shark has bitten him as well. Those teeth are like razors," he told News Corp.
Following successful microsurgery, Mr Augustine said Mr Ison will keep both his hand and his leg.
"It was a bit touch and go there for a bit - we didn't know if he'd make it or if he'd keep his arm and hand," he said.
"The shark crushed his thigh, broke the bone and left a tooth behind."
The main danger now for Mr Ison is infection.
"When Craig was drifting in and out of consciousness, he said he got two left punches in but his mate that was with him when the shark attacked tells me it was at least three or four," Mr Augustine said.
"He's a fighter, he's so fit - he trained six days a week before this - he can get through it."
Mr Ison's sister, Janelle Worth thanked people who had given the family support following the attack.
"In particular, we are eternally grateful to Geoff Hill, Rick Forsyth and Dawso for delivering vital first aid to Craig on the beach and ultimately saving his life," she said in a statement.
"We are also indebted to others who came to his assistance and the many people who have cared for him since the attack."
INITIAL REPORT: SHARK attack victim Craig Ison is on the mend and his family has asked people to respect his privacy.
Mr Ison, who was bitten by a great white shark while surfing at Evans Head on Friday, was initially taken to Lismore Base Hospital but was flown to the Gold Coast University Hospital on Saturday morning when his condition worsened.
As of last night, Mr Ison was reported to be in a critical condition at the hospital.
However, in a statement issued through the hospital's media unit, Mr Ison's family says the surfer is now in a "stable" condition.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has shown both he and his loved ones support during the past few days," Mr Ison's sister, Janelle Worth, is quoted saying in the statement.
"In particular, we are eternally grateful to Geoff Hill, Rick Forsyth and Dawso for delivering vital first aid to Craig on the beach and ultimately saving his life.
"We are also indebted to others who came to his assistance and the many people who have cared for him since the attack.
"We ask that people respect our privacy during this period."