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A South Carolina woman who had both arms amputated after being savagely mauled by three pit bulls also lost her vocal cords in the horrific attack and has undergone 13 surgeries so far, according to the mom-of-three’s sister.
“When she passed out they were eating her alive,” Amy Wynne, 41, told the Daily Mail about her sister Kyleen Waltman, who was savagely attacked on a sidewalk in Honea Path northwest of Columbia on March 21.
“The dogs dragged her, they scalped her. Her skull was showing. They tore her left eyelid off. They tore her right cheek off, left a hole. They ate the skin off her inner thigh and ate the flesh off her arms and ripped them off,” she said.
Waltman has received 109 staples in the front of her head and at least 90 on the back to close her gaping wounds, her sister told the outlet.
She also was fitted with a permanent trachea tube in her throat because bacteria from the dogs’ mouths got into her esophagus, Wynne said, adding that Waltman has to speak using a voice-generated box after losing her vocal cords.
The gravely injured woman nearly died three times — in the ambulance, in the helicopter and on the operating table, Wynne told the outlet.
“They had to put in a colonoscopy bag and her appendix shut down and they put her on dialysis. Doctors are hoping to regrow the tissue for her colon,” she said.
“By the grace of God, she has no brain damage,” the sibling added.
Waltman recently received the devastating news that she won’t be able to get prosthetic limbs due to the severity of her wounds.
“We thought her right shoulder was going to be good and they were able to fit it with a prosthetic, well yesterday they found an infection in the bone and had to remove more of the bone,” Wynne wrote on a GoFundMe page.
“So now she will not be able to have regular prosthetics on either shoulder,” she added.
Waltman was so upset by her condition when she awoke from a coma that doctors decided to put her under sedation again, her sister said previously.
“She is having phantom pains. Physically she is healing well, but mentally she is not there. She knows but she still hasn’t really acknowledged that she doesn’t have arms. She will ask my mom if she can hold her hand,” Wynne told the Daily Mail.
“She’s a strong woman, stronger than I ever thought. She is a fighter,” she added.
Waltman, who works as a waitress at Lou and Perry’s in Honea Path, has three children, a 21-year-old son and 18- and 17-year-old daughters, Wynne said.
On Saturday, she was released from the ICU and transferred to the Greenville Prisma Hospital in South Carolina, the Daily Mail said.
The owner of the three dogs, Justin Minor, 36, is charged with three counts of owning dangerous animals attacking a human, a rabies violation and allowing dangerous animals off his property unrestrained.
He once told police that “once a dog tastes blood, that’s it,” after some of them killed his chickens, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing late last month.
Abbeville County sheriff’s investigator Lt. Jeffrey Hines has revealed that Minor’s dogs had also attacked somebody else on Christmas Eve.
He reportedly testified that Minor’s property was unfenced and his many dogs roamed freely around the area.
Hines also testified that Minor, who has been released on a $15,000 bond, told cops he had wanted to euthanize his dogs after they killed his chickens, but his wife thought they could be trained, according to local outlet WYFF4.
Wynne expressed her gratitude to Avery Presley, the good Samaritan who rescued her sister from the dogs.
“He tried to get the dogs off of her. He fired a few shots in the air. My sister had already been passed out. Two of the dogs ran but one dog stayed and kept attacking — that is when he had to kick the dog off my sister and the dog ran,” she said.
“He called 911 and tried to put pressure on her arms … they ate all the flesh on her arms,” Wynne said.
“Avery Presley saved her life. We have not met face to face yet but because of the investigation,” she added.