Dog attack victim told both arms had been amputated had was sedated

Mom-of-three who survived mauling by trio of pit bulls awoke from coma only to be told both her arms had been amputated and that her injuries were too severe for prosthetics: Victim got so upset she had to be sedated and put back on a ventilator

  • South Carolina mom-of-three Kyleen Waltman, 38, was nearly killed by three pit bulls last month when she was mauled while walking home
  • She recently regained consciousness only to learn both her arms had been amputated up to her shoulder, and that she had lost part of her colon
  • She was so upset she had to be sedated and put back on a ventilator again
  • Waltman has undergone several surgeries since the March 21 incident 
  • She has also battled high blood pressure, fever, and respiratory issues 
  • A witness saw Waltman under attack in a ditch and was able to scare off the vicious dogs by firing his gun into the air
  • The dogs’ owner, Justin Minor, was arrested on last month and released on $15,000 bond. He faces three charges of owning a dangerous animal
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

A South Carolina mom-of-three who was mauled by three pit bulls woke up from a coma recently only to discover that both her arms had been amputated – and got so upset that doctors were forced to sedate the victim and put her back on a ventilator.   

Kyleen Waltman, 38, was attacked by the trio of dogs when she was walking home along a gravel path lined with trees near her home in rural Honea Path, about 80 miles northwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

In a heartbreaking 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 viscerally upset upon finally 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.

‘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.’ 

Kyleen Waltman, 38, had both arms amputated to the shoulder and lost part of her colon having been mauled by three pit bull. She regained consciousness only to be placed back on a ventilator after being told of the severity of her injuries

Waltman regained consciousness only to learn both her arms had been amputated up to her shoulder and lost part of her colon

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.

Waltman  was so upset she had to be sedated and put back on a ventilator again Waltman has had to undergo several surgeries since the March 21 mauling

Avery Presley, a local farmer who was driving his tractor to feed his cows just down the road, 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.’ 

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.  

Kyleen Waltman, 38 (pictured before the attack), was mauled by three pit bulls when she was walking home on Monday in Honea Path. She’s had both arms amputated and part of her colon removed as a result of the attack

The dogs ‘pretty much ripped all the meat from [Walter’s] arms, her best friend Tanya Gilmer told a local radio station 

Dog owner Justin Minor (pictured 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

Justin Minor is pictured at his bail hearing last month before he was released on $15,000 bond

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 after appearing handcuffed and teary eyed during a bond hearing before Magistrate Susan Gladden. He sniffled, periodically wiping his eyes and shaking his head, as Gladden read his charges to him.

Minor did not have an attorney present at the hearing – he 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. 

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.

He will 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.

Waltman’s sister said she has woken up after multiple surgeries – ‘but it’s not her’

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 $161,000 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 told the local radio station 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 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. 

Benjamin Alewine (pictured), 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.

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 that changed the woman’s life forever. 

Adonia Gymer, Walter’s cousin, told DailyMail.com that she was ‘personally angry’ about the attack. 

‘Justin Minor knew his dogs were vicious and he let them run free,’ she said on Saturday. ‘I’ve known Justin for years. He made those dogs mean on purpose. They’ve bitten people before.’

‘Kyleen is a loving, big-hearted woman,’ Gymer said. ‘She especially loves animals. Nobody deserves this, but Kyleen really didn’t.’

‘It could’ve been prevented,’ sister Amy Wynne, said. 

‘If the dogs were locked up or if the dogs were chained up, or if they were never there to begin with, this would’ve never happened.’  

Local news outlets have photographed ‘Beware of dog’ signs around Minor’s property. It is not clear why the dogs were roaming the street

The dogs were seized by Abbeville County Animal Control, and the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into the attack

Walter’s family said she ‘especially loved animals’ and ‘didn’t deserve this’

Wynne said Waltman has woken up after multiple surgeries – ‘but it’s not her.’

‘Her whole demeanor, everything about her has changed,’ Wynne told WYFF 4. 

‘Knowing Kyleen, she’s not going to want to live. She’s not going to want to live like this. She’s got too much pride to rely on someone else.’

‘In my mind, I’m telling myself she’s strong enough to pull through this. She will make it, she will do it. The good Lord in heaven don’t put more on you than you can bear.’ 

‘This is the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.’

Kyleen worked with her mother at Lou & Perry’s restaurant, according to the Greenwood Index Journal. Her manager, Eric Vaughn Jr. (pictured), said she’d worked there since she was 17 or 18 years old, and that her mother was struggling emotionally after the attack

Kyleen worked with her mother at Lou & Perry’s restaurant, according to the Greenwood Index Journal.  Her manager, Eric Vaughn Jr., said she’d worked there since she was 17 or 18 years old. 

‘She’s a tough woman for sure and I’m hoping she’ll be able to fight this,’ he said. ‘I hate it. All we can do is let the doctors do their best and let everything take its path.’

He said Walter’s mother, who visited the restaurant before traveling to Greenville to see her daughter in the hospital, is ‘taking it hard.’ 

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.    

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