Kyleen Waltman: Mom mauled by pit bulls had to be sedated after she woke from coma to find her arms amputated
Kyleen Waltman, a South Carolina mom of three, was attacked by three pit bulls when she was walking along a path near her home in Honea Path, about 80 miles northwest of Columbia on Monday, March 21. The 38-year-old was airlifted to the hospital and had to undergo several surgeries because of the incident.
When Waltman woke up from a coma and discovered that both her arms had been amputated, she got so upset that she had to be sedated and put back on a ventilator. As per the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded at 10:30 am to a house in the town of Honea Path, where they found Kyleen Waltman seriously injured.
As per reports, Avery Presley, a local farmer and a witness, was able to scare the dogs away by firing a gun. He was driving his tractor to feed his cows just down the road when he saw Waltman under attack in a ditch. "I ain't no hero. I still feel guilty about not getting there earlier. I always carry a gun for safety," Presley told Index Journal. He revealed that he called 911 and the deputies arrived about eight minutes later, while EMS arrived around 18 minutes later.
"I'm absolutely grateful for the guy, whoever it was that stopped and helped her. Praise the Lord for him being there," said Mark Gymer, Waltman's cousin. "There's never any answers to a situation like this. The only thing I can hope is that Kyleen comes out of this and she's able to live a somewhat normal life as she can. I can only imagine the changes in her life that she's going to have to go through with this whole situation. She's going to make it. There's not going to be an if," he added.
"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," Tanya Gilmer, who has been Waltman's best friend for over three decades, told WGN Radio. "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'll always be the same beautiful Kyleen to me. She's alive. She's a fighter. She's going to fight through this. I know her. She's going to fight through it."
Waltman's sister, Amy Wynne, organized a fundraiser for medical and financial help on GoFundMe that reads, "Hi my name is Amy Wynne. This fundraiser is for my sister on the 21st of March 2022 my sister Kyleen Waltman was mauled by 3 dogs. She has had both arm amputated up to the shoulder and now she had to have her colon removed and now her esophagus may have to be removed. She has a long road ahead of her and will need medical and financial help. Every little bit would help greatly, but please do not feel obligated to donate. Prayers is what we need at this moment. I will give updates. Thank you for taking the time to read my sister's story."
In a recent update, Wynn wrote, "Kyleen has been fully woken up and the doctors told her about her arms but, it caused her a great deal of anxiety, so they sedated her. 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. Her story is not done. Now they have took off everything on the arms that now she can not have regular prosthetics. 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."
As per Daily Mail, "If it wasn't for [the passerby], my sister wouldn't be here. 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't even hold the grandbaby and that's going to be devastating," said Waltman's sister, Shenna Green.
Waltman used to work at Lou & Perry's with her mother, Diane. "She's a tough woman for sure and I'm hoping she'll be able to fight this. I hate it. All we can do is let the doctors do their best and let everything take its path. My heart is disappointed. She ain't blood. She's like an older sister. I'm still just shocked because you don't see anything like that," Eric Vaughn, manager of the restaurant, told Index Journal.
Meanwhile, Justin Minor, the owner of the dogs, 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 on Wednesday, March 23. He was released on a $15,000 bond after a bond hearing before Magistrate Susan Gladden. During the hearing, he was spotted crying as the charges were read to him.
"Justin Minor knew his dogs were vicious and he let them run free. 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. She especially loves animals. Nobody deserves this, but Kyleen really didn't," Adonia Gymer, Walter's cousin, told Daily Mail. While the dogs were seized by Abbeville County Animal Control, the police are still conducting an investigation.