Updated: May 02, 2021 11:29 PM
Created: April 29, 2021 11:34 PM
There’s a 9-year-old in Eagan with a new nickname – Jay Weiskopf is now known as "Superjay, The Bravest Boy." Jay received that nickname from his teacher after he was bit by a shark and made a remarkable recovery.
“There’s a little bit of residual fear, but honestly the kid is so resilient,” Kristine Weiskopf, Jay's mother, said. “He’s so brave and we’re so proud of him on how he’s come through this relatively unscathed considering the severity.”
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first introduced you to the Weiskopf family in March when Jay was attacked by the shark.
The family was vacationing in Miami Beach when it happened. While waiting for their hotel room, they decided to go to the beach. Jay and his mom were wading in the water, body surfing on waves, when Jay was bitten.
“[Jay] fell forward and he didn’t get up right away, which is really weird, so I just picked him up, held him up with my hand, and I noticed there was a large hole where his shoulder should be,” Kristine said. “It was bleeding, I was in a panic, I saw the shark swim away and we ran up the beach.”
Jay’s father, Ren, was on the beach taking pictures of the two when it happened.
“I saw where the shark bit and it’s just like watching a horror movie,” Ren Weiskopf said. “It’s just going through your head like, ‘Oh, this is my kid and I want him to be OK,’ just everything.”
More than 100 stitches later, and Jay was just about at 100% — just left with a scar that has quite a story.
Even so, the Weiskof’s vacation was spent mostly in the hospital. For their next time in south Florida, the Miami Beach Police Department is working to change that.
“These situations are so rare for us in this part of south Florida,” MBPD Chief Richard Clements said. “When you see it, it’s not something you let go.”
In about a month, the MBPD, alongside community partners and local businesses, have been able to lock in a "redo vacay" for the Weiskofs, set for Labor Day weekend.
“We have such good community partnerships with area businesses that when people found out about it and found out that there was an opportunity to be able to support this effort, man, they were coming out of the woodwork,” Clements added.
Clements also said those in his department want to make sure Jay has a nice vacation. The plan is to make Jay a junior police officer for one of the days they’re in Miami Beach.
“They have a five-star hotel lined up for us," Ren Weiskopf said with a smile. "They have entertainment for us, they have top chefs, they’re rolling out the red carpet."
The Weiskopfs say Jay is very excited for round two. While their hotel is likely very close to the beach, mom and dad say Superjay will be sticking to sandcastles and the pool, with no plans on swimming in the ocean.
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