‘A Walking Miracle’: Man Survives Alligator Attack After Being Bitten In The Head

A Florida man bitten in the head by an alligator but miraculously survived is giving Jesus all the glory.


JC Defeats from Brandon was at Lake Thonotosassa, shooting an instructional video for a future event for his company Defeat-X on Aug. 3, when the attack happened.

34-year-old JC said, “I always preach mitigated risk, and that day I failed, and it went completely out the window,” he explained. But that day he forgot his swim cap and goggles and did not carry out the safety precautions needed for swimming.

The drone captured JC swimming and shows a 12-foot-long alligator coming straight for him, “I was chomped down on this side, like completely,” he described. The gator’s jaws were on his head and upper torso and lasted for a few seconds.

JC knew nothing would happen to him, even though his life was at stake, “An unbelievable amount of faith in myself that I wasn’t going to die,” he recalled. “I was going to be OK, but I needed to act for sure.” JC recalls putting his hands in the alligator’s mouth and feeling the teeth, getting twisted and turned about in the water.

Miraculously the gator let him go all of a sudden, “She let go, and she didn’t have to let go,” said JC. He swam for a nearby dock and once out of the water, the pain kicked in and he started losing a lot of blood. Neighbors helped him and rushed him to Tampa General Hospital.

JC’s wife, Christine La Verde said, “We were just all there kinda huddled together, praying, and you know, we didn’t know what to expect,” she added, “What I saw in the ER was bad.”


The U.S. Air Force pararescue veteran and Oldsmar firefighter had a six-hour surgery, his head was crushed and his jaw was broken by the force of the alligator’s bite, it also damaged a facial nerve. “The bite crushed his skull, and it punctured his brain,” Christine explained. “So, they ended up having to do a craniectomy, remove part of his temporal lobe.”

After spending 8 days in the hospital, JC was discharged last week, his wife calls him a walking miracle because of the quick healing he has received after undergoing extreme trauma. “Overwhelmed and grateful and thankful that he was alive and well, and we could see that he was coherent and that neurologically everything was intact,” she said.

Although JC is out of the hospital, he is still at risk for infection, he has to have another operation to place a plate over his brain, and his jaw is wired shut for another few weeks. He wants everyone to know that he will be just fine because he is depending on his faith and family to carry him through.

Through his experience he wants others to also find the light in their lives and keep moving forward. “I’m asking you to be tough because the world is a really difficult place, and, man, is it challenging to maneuver without God and ultimately Jesus Christ in your heart,” said JC.

The family thanks all those who have prayed for them. The North Pinellas Firefighters Charities is raising money for JC’s ongoing medical expenses.

We don’t know why the gator released JC, but it seems to be a divine intervention that saved his life. His faith in God and the prayers tat were being offered up by countless people are the reasons why he is alive today.


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