Kyleen Waltman South Carolina woman mauled by 3 pit bull dogs wakes up from coma only to have to be sedated and put on ventilator after discovering that she had both her arms amputated.
A South Carolina mother of three mauled by three pit bulls woke up from a coma only to discover that both her arms had been amputated. The realisation led to doctors being forced to sedate the ‘shocked’ woman and put her back on a ventilator.
Kyleen Waltman, 38, was attacked by three dogs while walking home near her home in rural Honea Path, about 80 miles northwest of Columbia, South Carolina on March 21st.
In a post on GoFundMe, Waltman’s sister, Amy Wynne, shared the series of health battles she’s faced since the attack, including high blood pressure, fever, and respiratory issues.
She also wrote that Kyleen was so distraught upon recently waking up that doctors were forced to sedate her.
‘Now they have took off everything on the arms that now she can not have regular prosthetics,’ Wynne wrote.
Myriad health issues and long road to recovery
‘So here we are trying to figure out how to keep her from thinking negative thoughts about her life. 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.’
Wynne also said her sister is facing a long road to recovery, and detailed the myriad health issues still plaguing Waltman.
‘Her blood pressure is still very and she is running a fever of 102+ her oxygen levels keep falling so she’s back on the ventilator,’ Wynne wrote on the GoFundMe page. ‘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.’
Tanya Gilmer, Waltman’s best friend, told WGN Radio that the attack came as she was walking from her boyfriend’s home to her mother’s property.
‘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,’ Gilmer said.
Avery Presley, a local farmer saw Waltman under attack in a ditch and was able to scare the dogs away by firing his gun into the air, police said.
‘I ain’t no hero,’ Presley told the Greenwood Index Journal. ‘I still feel guilty about not getting there earlier. I always carry a gun for safety.’
Owned dangerous animals
Two days after the attack, dog owner Justin Minor was arrested 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, according to The State.
The owning of a dangerous animal charge carries a penalty of $5,000 or a sentence of three years in prison.
He was released on a $15,000 bond last month following a bond hearing before Magistrate Susan Gladden.
Minor did not have an attorney present at the hearing – the visibly distraught man told the judge that he already had a public defender assigned to him, and that he was currently employed.
Gladden told the dog owner that he could apply for a jury trial or a probable cause hearing if he wished WYFF reported.
He was also told that he could not have any contact with Walter or her family as his trial proceeds. No one from Walter’s family attended the bail hearing.
‘She didn’t deserve it’
The dog owner was scheduled to reappear next on May 6.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Minor’s dogs were on the street. It is unclear whether the animals will be put down.
Walter has undergone several surgeries and is scheduled for more, according to a GoFundMe set up for her medical care, which has raised more than $168,000 as of Monday night. She might also need her esophagus removed.
‘If it wasn’t for [the passerby], my sister wouldn’t be here,’ Waltman’s sister, Shenna Green, said. ‘By that time, they couldn’t even tell who she was.’
‘She didn’t deserve it. She was a good person. She helped everybody… She just found out she’s a grandma [and]… can’ even hold the grandbaby and that’s going to be devastating.’
Gilmer said that the dogs ‘pretty much ripped all the meat from [Walter’s] arms,’ and that the woman now has ‘a hole in the back of her head.’
‘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,’ said Gilmer, who has been friends with Waltman for three decades.
‘She’ll always be the same beautiful Kyleen to me.’
Gilmer said that Walter, who is also a grandmother of one, will be in the hospital for at least three to four months, followed by a long period of rehabilitation.
‘She’s a fighter’
‘She’s alive. She’s a fighter. She’s going to fight through this. I know her. She’s going to fight through it.’
Benjamin Alewine, Minor’s neighbor and cousin, saw Walter lying in the ditch after she was attacked. He told the Greenwood Index Journal that the ‘hole’ in the back of her head was about the diameter of a coffee cup.
‘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.’
‘It’s hard to forget it. “I asked her what her name was and she couldn’t even move her lips.’
He had known Walter for 25 years, but was unable to recognize her until deputies came to the scene and pulled her identification from her pocket.
Alewine said he didn’t know where Minor got the dogs, but said he had a habit of adopting strays. A few days before the attack, he said, he carried a PVC in his hand for protection against the dogs as he walked down the road.
‘If you ain’t got a stick in your hand, they’ll bite you,’ he said. ‘I’m scared of walking on my property at night.’
He told the outlet that his Chihuahua, which he’d had for three years, had gone missing about three weeks ago – he wondered if Minor’s dogs had gotten to it.
There is a leash law in Honea Path, he said, and that he supposes residents just ignore it.
‘Beware of dog’
Local news outlets have photographed ‘Beware of dog’ signs around Minor’s property.
The dogs were seized by Abbeville County Animal Control, and the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into the attack.
Waltman’s family wants Minor held accountable for the attack, with relatives saying the tragedy could’ve been prevented had the animals been locked up according to WYFF 4.
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, with 800,000 of the victims requiring medical attention, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Across studies, 22.5 percent of reported dog bites – the highest percentage among breeds – were attributed to pit bulls, according to the American Animal Hospital Association.