Marvel Star Robert Downey Jr. Sends Heartfelt Message to Teen Shark Attack Victim

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Tony Stark/Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has inspired a generation of fans -- and a new video shows how much that extends beyond the screen. With the help of Good Morning America, Downey recently set a special video message to Paige Winter, a teenage girl who was brutally attacked by a shark earlier this month. The video, which you can check out below, was presented to Winter during an interview with Robin Roberts.

"This is a heroic story of resilience, I got to tell you." Downey's video says in part. "And you're not alone, but not just because of folks who have had similar stuff happen, but also because of your interest in sustainability and preservation of our oceans and marine life and all that stuff."

Downey goes on to recruit Winter to be her state's ambassador for his Footprint Coalition organization, as well as confirm that he will follow Winter - who is an Iron Man superfan - back on Instagram.

As Winter revealed during the Good Morning America interview, she lost two fingers and had to have her left leg amputated after the attack, and is keeping a unique perspective on the whole ordeal.

"I was aware from the beginning, nothing's gonna be the same ever again." Winter explained. "Like, I'm still Paigey. Just a little different."

Shortly after the attack, Winter put out a statement through the Vidant Medical Center, in which she asked people to respect sharks in their natural habitats.

"Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water," the statement read. "She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."

Downey's aforementioned Footprint Coalition was announced by the actor earlier this month and sets out to use robotics, artificial intelligence, and technology to reverse the Earth's carbon footprint within a decade.


"I know it's a kumbaya type dream. It's a logistical clusterf--k," Downey said of the mission. "I'm down with dedicating myself to maybe one small part of making good on that statement, even in abject failure, it's still the best idea I've ever had."

What do you think of Downey's message to Winter? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!