Heather Pingel: Mom succumbs to injuries after saving son, 4, from pit bull attack
Heather Pingel lost both her arms before succumbing to heart and lung injuries
A homemaker and mother of two from Bowler, Wisconsin, died while trying to save her son from a pit bull attack. On December 8, Heather Pingel, 35, and her son were brutally attacked by the family pit bull who was purportedly sensitive to loud noises. The dog turned violent after Pingel's four-year-old son Damian tumbled down the stairs and started crying.
Pingel suffered critical injuries on her arms, kidneys, and lungs while trying to pull the dog away from her son. She was discovered by her boyfriend, Shane Bernarde, who came home to Pingel being attacked by the dog. Pingel was then rushed to Aspirus Wausau Hospital where doctors told her family that her injuries from the attack were extremely severe and had damaged her internal organs.
Bernarde also suffered from injuries during the ordeal and had to be given 70 stitches to his leg and back. Meanwhile, both Pingel's arms had to be amputated. On December 16, eight days after saving her four-year-old son from the attack, Heather succumbed to kidney failure and lung injuries at the Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
"I just want people to know she died a hero," Heather's sister Shannon Pingel posted on social media. "I hate that this happened, but I'm thankful she saved my nephew... she is the best mom. She did everything for her babies."
The Wausau Daily Herald reported that according to the Shawano County Sheriff Office, Bernarde came home while Pingel was being attacked in the washroom. He somehow pulled the dog away from her, took the raging dog outside and shot it dead. The Sheriff's Office also said that the pit bull had shown signs of such aggression earlier but Pingel had refused to give the dog away to a shelter because it would have likely been killed there.
Shannon Pingel has since started a GoFundMe page in order to cover the entire medical bill and raise funeral costs. The fundraiser has already raised $43,700 of its $50,000 goal. "She is nothing but a hero. We need help with medical bills, funeral costs, and help to raise her [two] beautiful babies. She was way too young to leave and this is all so sudden and shocking. Any and all help is greatly appreciated," Shannon stated on her fundraiser page.
A funeral service for Heather Pingel will be held on December 23.