A 67-year-old woman who was severely mauled and nearly killed in a dog attack last year has said she needed strong faith to give her the strength to survive the brutal incident. According to a report on Star2.com, Sanjuana Garibay lost her left arm, the use of her right arm and a leg in the horrific attack when two pit bulls bit her in an alley as she was walking to her daughter’s home. Police said at the time that the dogs may have gotten there through a fence at an adjoining yard. She was knocked to the ground as the dogs attacked her.
Severe Injuries and Tough Recovery
Her wounds were so bloody and severe that she had to be airlifted to UC Medical Center in San Francisco for treatment. She spent several months under the care of a surgeon who specializes in hand surgery and microsurgical reconstruction. She also suffered severe emotional scars, Garibay tells Star2.com. She said she was angry, cried a lot and didn’t want anyone’s help. She felt like she had lost her body.
Garibay is still at the recovery center in Fresno where she is receiving physical therapy on her arm. Doctors have inserted a steel rod into it and grafted a bone near her wrist. She is beginning to feel movement in her hand and can actually move her fingers for the first time since the attack. Doctors at the hospital have expressed amazement at the woman’s strength and attitude as she slowly progresses through this painful recovery.
Rough Road for Victims
Garibay’s story is illustrative of what victims who suffer severe injuries in dog attacks go through. Not only do they suffer physical injuries that lead to loss of function and permanent scars, but also significant emotional trauma. Many are left with psychological issues for which they require ongoing counseling. And all of these treatments and therapies are extremely expensive.
In such cases, dog bite victims may be able to seek compensation for damages from the negligent dog owner including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. California has a strict liability statute, which holds dog owners financially responsible for the injuries and damages their pets cause. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced California dog bite lawyer who will help them secure maximum compensation for the tremendous injuries, damages and losses they have sustained.