PAISLEY SCOTLAND - A NEIGHBOR'S AKITA ATTACKED SYLVIA BAILLIE IN THE FACE AS SHE WENT TO PAT IT
A PENSIONER scarred for life when a powerful AMERICAN AKITA DOG mauled her face has revealed she can no longer look in a mirror.
Last week, the Record published pictures of Sylvia Baillie lying in hospital with her face bloodied and stitched back together after the savage attack.
Sylvia, 60, was at a neighbour’s home and went to pat three-year-old Kioshi when it pounced on her.
The attack left her needing an emergency op and so many stitches that doctors lost count and having to be tube-fed.
Speaking for the first time since her ordeal, Sylvia, of Paisley, said: “I’m distraught. I’ve had flashbacks of the dog launching itself at my face and I can’t sleep.
“A surgeon told me that he had never seen a dog bite as bad.
“I’d been at the house and as I got up to leave I went to pat the dog on the head when it just jumped at me and bit into my face.
“I remember the dog on me as I fell, then I passed out. I woke up in hospital and the doctors wouldn’t show me my face.
“When I asked how many stitches I had, they said they didn’t know. They just had to keep stitching and stitching to re-attach my face.
“Everything was done under local anaesthetic as I have heart problems and can’t go under general anaesthetic. I felt the needle going in and out my face as they tried to patch it up.
“After the op, I went to the bathroom and that’s when I saw my face. I’m devastated at how this has left me.
“I can’t bring myself to look in the mirror now. The injuries are disgusting.”
Sylvia had gone to the home of neighbours Pat Mahon and Leanne McHugh after a funeral last Wednesday.
They had offered osteoporosis sufferer Sylvia a lift home after the service as she struggled to walk.
But when she went to leave their home, the dog savaged her.
Sylvia’s daughter Leeann, 36, said: “It was terrifying. I heard my mum scream and I ran in.
“The dog was attacking her face. It had its jaws on her and was throwing her from side to side. There was blood everywhere, all over her face, arms and neck. I couldn’t see any skin – everything was covered in blood. I don’t know how I did it as the dog was so strong but I grabbed it by the back of the neck and pulled it off her.
“I don’t know if I did more harm than good – the dog had her cheek in its mouth and I pulled it away.
“Then I realised my mum wasn’t breathing – I didn’t know she had passed out in shock. I collapsed screaming and crying and called an ambulance.”
Sylvia was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley then moved to the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow for specialist treatment. She is still unable to eat solid food and is surviving on
soup and ice cream.
Police initially couldn’t find the owners or the dog – but hours after the attack, an American Akita was put up for sale on Gumtree for £50.
Sylvia said: “I couldn’t believe it. I recognised the dog straight away as the one that attacked me.
“It’s so reckless to try and sell it on. They know how evil it is. To risk someone else going through what I have for £50 is ludicrous.”
The seller, “Brian”, did not respond to our emails but after we published pictures of Sylvia’s injuries, the ad was removed.
Police seized the dog on Monday. A man and woman will be reported to the procurator fiscal.
Sylvia said: “I want that dog put down and the owners held responsible. It’s been a hellish experience.”
Mahon and McHugh did not respond to requests for comment.