Friday, April 14, 2017

Vermont: Attacked in the face by her neighbor's pit bull just after Christmas, woman details her recovery

VERMONT -- ​Immediately after returning from Christmas with my family I was viciously attacked by my neighbor’s very large Pit Bull.

The dog leapt over a fence and grabbed my face and shook me until he tore away a large portion of my identity. I sustained immense tissue loss and damage as well as emotional trauma that haunt me every day.

After being rushed to the local hospital I was immediately transferred to UVM Medical Center to undergo emergency reconstructive surgery. Weeks later I underwent another massive reconstructive surgery and now, over a month later, I patiently await the third and hopefully last surgery to help restore the smile I am proud to say I got from my beautiful mother.

After I heal from surgery I will need collagen injections to fill in the concaves in my face due to massive tissue loss and extensive laser surgery, potentially for years to come to help smooth and fade the horrific scars.

​Barely a week previous I had just graduated with my bachelor’s degree and was working two jobs while in school. Due to being in school and working part time I have no coverage through employment for health care and lost wages and was currently financially clawing my way through life in order to finish school.

I was out of work for the first month and have been released to return to one job preforming low risk work part time. Once I undergo my third surgery I will be back to square one of healing and out of work again for weeks.

​Any contribution will graciously be used to help with medical bills, trauma therapy, keeping my home, and helping to restore my severely derailed life. That’s all I want back, my life, my ability to give back to my community.

As a caregiver for mental health and human services I am used to being asked for help. I have worked hard to accept that, right now, I’m the one in need of help.

​Thank you for reading my story.

Update 1
This was a recent post from Kate's dad, John on his FB page.

So most of my friends and family here rarely see a post by me, but I feel compelled to send this out. Pictured here is my daughter Kate (Kat to her friends in VT) with her rescued "pasture pet" Ruby.

When she got back to VT from a Christmas break with her family, Kate was attacked by a neighbor's pit-bull, severely injuring her face. This is so ironic as our family members are such dog lovers.

She's been through a couple of surgeries and will require more with one scheduled in a few weeks. PLEASE remind all your friends and family members that although dogs are often our best friends, bad things can happen in seconds when we least expect it.

Thank you to all my friends and family for the support and words of encouragement already sent. See Kate's story in her own words on by searching for "Kate's Journey to Recovery".

Many thanks to our good friend Linda for setting that up for her. Peace and Love to all.

Update 2
This photo was taken right after the attack.

Update 3
This photo was after the first surgery.

Update 4
This photo is after the second surgery.

Update 5
It has been four weeks since my beloved family friend, Linda Hansen, created this go fund me page in response to a traumatic injury sustained by a dog attack ten weeks ago. The out pour of love and support has been immense, even overwhelming at times.

I have received support from people of all walks of my life: friends, family, people I went to high school with but haven't spoken to in ten years, people who haven't met me but know one of my wonderful family members or friends, even complete strangers who happened upon the story via Facebook and it pulled at their heart strings.

I am not on Facebook and do not participate in social media but I needed a way to reach out to all these people to somehow thank them. I cannot begin to express my immense gratitude for your generosity and selflessness. THANK YOU with all my heart and from the bottom of my being. Words will never be enough. I have so much to be grateful for. Perspective is powerful and all of you have helped me see and remember that every day.

Currently, my amazing team of surgeons have pushed back my final surgery with concern that the wound needs more time to heal on its own since the last surgery as well as the hopes that it may not be necessary.

In the mean time they have been treating me with steroid injections. Although immensely uncomfortable, the low doses of hormone has been helping take down the swelling in my surgical flap and begun to flatten out the scarring of the surgical lines.

If positive results from the injections persist then another surgery may be able to be avoided all together and the laser treatments to help fade the intense scars can begin soon!

I am back to work part time at Washington County Mental Health Services providing support to consumers in the Community Developmental Services Department while I continue to process and work though the trauma. Every day poses immense challenges that I have been working though thanks to the support of so many. This ordeal will continue to pose many physical, emotional, and financial challenges for years to come.

I am forever humbled and gracious with all the love and support.

Thank you.


Update 6
This is the most recent photo of Kate (above). Kate is healing nicely!

GoFundMe link: Kate's Journey to Recovery!
 Created February 4, 2017
Linda MacCorison Hanson  
on behalf of Katherine Higgins

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