'If he got into the kennel he would kill me' - Woman's hand bitten off by dog
PUBLISHED: 15:15 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 29 March 2019
A woman whose hand was bitten off by a rescue dog has spoken about the lifesaving efforts of the East Anglian Air Ambulance as she pledged to raise funds for the service.
Sue Scarlett, 64, from Wisbech, was helping a friend by cleaning out dog kennels and making sure the animals had water in October last year.
She had already looked after seven of the animals but when the got to the eighth - a 90kg rescue dog - tragedy struck.
She said: “I let him out as usual and cleaned his kennel. I started to put fresh water in his bowl, when he came back, put his head partially in the kennel, and grabbed my right arm.
“I shouted to him to let go but he just held on tighter. I went onto my knees and pushed the kennel gate against him with my left hand, I knew that if he got into the kennel he would kill me.”
Mrs Scarlett said the dog continued to gnaw at her arm while she screamed for help.
“I remember thinking that I would have a few broken bones when he finished,” she said. “After what seemed hours my husband heard me and tried to pull the dog away but was unable to do so.
“At that time I looked down and saw my right hand lying on the concrete in a pool of blood.”
It was then Mrs Scarlett realised she was more injured than she thought and told her husband to call for help
But the dog was still clinging on to her, until suddenly he let go.
“As I looked up I saw him looking at me and there was blood all round his mouth,” she said.
“As a nurse I knew that I was in big trouble so told my husband that he needed to put a tourniquet above the wound, which he did using his jacket. My friend and my husband held my arm in the air to try and prevent more blood loss.
“As we waited we heard the sound of a helicopter and I was told that East Anglian Air Ambulance had been sent. All of a sudden there were lots of people around, including police and I was being looked after by two doctors and a paramedic.”
The Anglia Two team of Dr Pam Chrispin, Dr Antonia Hazlerigg, critical care paramedic Mark Milsom and pilots Rosh Jaypalan and Martin Polding arrived and the clinical team treated Mrs Scarlett before rushing her to Addenbroke’s Hospital.
“I don’t remember much else about the journey or going into the hospital or the emergency surgery which was needed to save my life,” Mrs Scarlett said.
“But what I know is that without a shadow of a doubt is that without the swift action and interventions of the East Anglian Air Ambulance crew I would not be here today.
“I might have lost part of my arm but I am alive and will always be grateful to the crew.”
Mrs Scarlett is now becoming a volunteer to help raise money for the air ambulance, which receives no government funding.
“I am telling my story so that everyone knows what the air ambulance does - it saves lives,” she said.