RI man bitten by shark continues to recover, working towards next goal

Cook is back in Tiverton recovering from a shark attack in Hawaii in October that claimed much of his left leg. (Photo via Colin Cook)

"Literally, overnight my life changed."

That was 5 months ago.

"(It) definitely hasn't been easy, but (I'm) keeping my head up and staying positive. Keep moving forward," said Colin Cook.

The Tiverton native is now moving on a new prosthetic leg. He's been walking on it for about three weeks.

"It's definitely been a lot of work getting used to it. It's almost like re-learning how to walk," Cook told NBC 10 News.

Cook is back home recovering from a shark attack in Hawaii in October that claimed much of his left leg.

Cook had moved to Hawaii four years ago.

He surfed every day and built a business making surf boards.

Last October, while surfing Oahu's North Shore, he was attacked by a shark and lost his left leg as a result.

"I definitely think about it," Cook said. "And it's kind of funny -- people come up to me all the time and are like, 'Oh, what happened to you?' And I tell them and they don't believe me."

The reality can be tough, physically and mentally.

"Some days are easier than others," he said.

The water is where Cook really aims to be.

"When I come down, I go, 'Oh, I wish I could just grab my board and go,'" he said.

He's waiting for a surfing prosthetic, but has been in the water a few times with the help of friends.

"(I'm) just kind of paddling around, laying down surfing, catching waves on my stomach on the board," said Cook. "(I'm) just trying to keep my paddling strength and surfing muscles moving, so when I get the leg I'll be able to jump right back into it."

Cook has talked to other amputees who've done it.

"It gives me hope and I definitely am going to be back out there," he said.

Cook hopes to move back to Hawaii, but is not sure when.

A GoFundMe site has raised more than $75,000 for his recovery.

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