14-Year-Old Girl Demonstrates Extreme Bravery

Edna Wilks and friends were swimming on boogie boards in Little Lake Conway Saturday, when Wilks was nearly drowned in an alligator attack. Fortunately, as others scrambled for safety, Wilk’s best friend, 14-year-old Amanda Valance, stayed nearby, waiting for an opportunity to save her longtime pal. As the reptile clutched Wilk’s arm, breaking several bones in the process, and began spinning the girl in circles, Wilk’s arm broke free from her predator. Valance moved in, dragging her friend onto the boogie board and bringing her back to shore, alligator still in tow. “She saw his tail whipping around in the water and she told me she thought to herself she couldn’t let me die,” said Wilks. The young Floridian is confident that she would not have survived the attack without the aid of her best friend. “We’ve been best friends for about 2/1/2 years, and now she’s more than my best friend; she’s my hero.”


USA Today, 8/21/01

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