Last night Mick Fanning appeared on Australian TV show 60 Minutes. They talked to the three-time world champ about his experience in South Africa, they quizzed him about his present emotional state, they took him out for his first surf since J-Bay (interrupted by a shark!), and they paid him $AUS 75,000 for the privilege. $75,000 that now reside in the bank account of Mathew Lee, who was attacked by a 4m great white whilst bodyboarding at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina, one month ago.
Lee remains in Gold Coast University Hospital, where for the last month he’s been in and out of surgery and induced comas. Mat’s now in a stable condition, but he’s also saddled with a whole lotta debt after numerous operations; friends and family set up a support page to raise money, and the balance sheet is now looking a good deal healthier. Channel Nine boss David Gyngell, also a keen surfer, added $25,000 of his own to make it a round $100k. The following message of thanks appeared yesterday on Lee’s fundraising page:
“Mick Fanning and David Gyngell. No words can describe how grateful we are for the generous donation. Make sure you tune in to 60minutes tonight at 9pm to get the full interview.”
Fanning says he’s still struggling emotionally with what happened to him in South Africa, and plans to seek help:
“I guess when something like this happens, you’re in your own mind, and your mind can play tricks on your,” he said in the interview. “Your mind can … turn shadows into demons, or stuff like that.
“And then you sort of have like different self-doubts, and like, why did I get away with that?
“I’m going to seek help for sure. I think it’s the only way to deal with it.”