FAMILY and friends of shark attack victim Mathew Lee have released a statement, thanking the community for its support.

Mr Lee was attacked by a great white shark while bodyboarding at North Wall at Ballina on Thursday morning.

He was airlifted to the Gold Coast University Hospital with severe leg injuries, and he is still in a serious condition.

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"Mat Lee's family and close friends would like to thank the community for their kind words and support during this difficult time," the family said in its statement to The Northern Star.

An image posted to Facebook by Suzy Garada showing her with her partner Mathew Lee, who is in hospital after being bitten by a shark at Ballina.
An image posted to Facebook by Suzy Garada showing her with her partner Mathew Lee, who is in hospital after being bitten by a shark at Ballina.

"We would ask that people respect the family's privacy, so we can focus on supporting Mat as best we can.

"Fundraising efforts are being organised at present; please go to the Mathew Lee - Official Support Facebook page for details on Mat's journey and how to help."

The Facebook page already has almost 2000 likes.

One of the photos posted to the page is of Mr Lee's dog, Penny, with a note saying: "Miss you Dad and can't wait to see you! Sloppy dog kisses."