A woman who survived a vicious mauling by three pit bulls had to be re-sedated after waking from a coma to learn she no longer had arms or colon.
South Carolina mother-of-three Kyleen Waltman had to have both limbs amputated and her colon removed after the brutal attack last month — and may yet lose her esophagus too.
Her sister Amy Wynne has been keeping donors informed with heartbreaking updates in a GoFundMe for the 38-year-old, which has so far raised over $172k.
“Kyleen has been fully woken up and the doctors told her about her arms but, it caused her a great deal of a anxiety, so they sedated her,” Amy told followers on Monday. “Her blood pressure is still very [sic] and she is running a fever of 102+ her oxygen levels keep falling so she’s back on the ventilator. Mama says it’s like she’s giving up.”
“Before ya’ll go assuming we as her family are not giving up. The lord has brought her this far for a reason. Her story is not done.”
Doctors had been planning to attach prosthetics, but after the stumps of what was left of her arms became infected, they were forced to remove those too, right up to the shoulder, meaning she cannot even be given artificial limbs.
“So here we are trying to figure out how to keep her from thinking negative thoughts about her life,” her sister wrote. “I understand that for 38 years she’s had arms and now she doesn’t, how she’s thinking. She’s still fighting. Prayers are working and slowly she healing.”
On the morning of Monday, March 21, Kyleen had been walking to her mom’s house in the small town of Honea Path when she was suddenly set upon by three dogs: two pure-breed pit bulls, and a pit bull mix.
“She was walking home from her boyfriend’s house to her momma’s, and as far as I know, the dogs just jumped on her and you can actually see in the road if you go down there, where she fought the dog, trying to fight them off,” her best friend Tanya Gilmer told WSPA.
“They pretty much ripped all the meat from her arms, and she has a hole in the back of her head. She has lost her colon. She’s lost both of her arms. She’s going to have to lose her esophagus, and they did save her legs.”
“I’m still in shock of it. The pictures of her tore my heart to pieces, but regardless, she’s still the same beautiful Kyleen to me,” she added. “She’ll always be the same beautiful Kyleen to me.”
Kyleen’s life was likely saved by farmer Avery Presley; he was driving his tractor along Ball Road, en route to feed his cows, when he came upon the gristly scene; at first, he thought the dogs were attacking another animal.
As he approached two of the dogs left, but the third came towards him; he fired his gun in the air, and it left too. Then he realized to his horror what the dogs had been eating.
“I ain’t no hero,” he told the Greenwood Index-Journal. “I still feel guilty about not getting there earlier.”
According to The State, the owner of the dogs, Justin L. Minor (pictured, inset), was arrested on March 23 and charged with three counts of owning a dangerous animal that attacked and injured a human, rabies control violation, and dangerous animal not permitted beyond premises unless restrained — all misdemeanors.
He was released on a $15,000 surety bond.
If convicted of owning a dangerous animal he could be sentenced up to three years in prison.
Minor’s three dogs were seized by animal control, along with three other dogs from his property.
His own cousin and neighbor Benjamin Alewine told the Index-Journal that Minor has a habit of taking in strays. He said he himself is afraid to walk past the property, and carries a PVC pipe for protection when he does.
“I ain’t never seen no dog do that to anyone,” he said. “This is the most awful sight I ever seen, for a dog attack. She didn’t have a chance.”
“It’s hard to forget it. I asked her what her name was and she couldn’t even move her lips.”
Despite knowing the victim for 25 years, Alewine said he didn’t even recognize her because of her injuries.
“We didn’t know who she was until the deputies arrived and pulled out her license,” he said. “I came back to the house crying.”
“She was nice to everyone,” he added. “She’ll pull through it. It’ll be hard for her. She’s a fighter.”