PHOENIX — An elderly Phoenix woman was released from the hospital Tuesday, less than a week after being mauled by a pack of dogs.
Early last Wednesday morning, 72-year-old Elia Gutierrez was walking in Barrios Unidos Park near 16th and Mohave streets when she was attacked.
“She fought three times to stay standing and she continued to protect her face and neck,” said Valine Paloma, Gutierrez’s granddaughter.
Gutierrez was no match for the pack of dogs, who Paloma said seriously injured her.
“Bite marks on her arms, her back (and) her legs,” she said. “Thank God she saved her face and her neck.”
The situation looked bleak for Gutierrez as she was left to fend for herself, as no one else was in the park, said Paloma, until a Good Samaritan happened to pass by.
“I got a stick from the truck and batted them away expecting them to leave, but they didn’t,” Juan Figueroa said. “That’s when they came toward me.”
Figueroa said he feared for his safety and continued to fight the dogs until finally striking the largest of them in the head, at which point he said the others backed off.
Paloma, who was in Washington state at the time of the attack, said it was heartbreaking to hear what happened to her grandmother but is thankful she will recover.
Paola Pieri, a trauma surgeon with Maricopa Integrated Health System, said Gutierrez is expected to make a full recovery and will not need physical therapy or additional surgery.
Paloma said the incident has not damped her grandmother’s spirit and Gutierrez was joking just days after the attack while still in the hospital.
“She told me, ‘They (the dogs) messed up my Shakira body, but they didn’t take my face,'” said Paloma.
Gutierrez still has a lot more recovery ahead of her and Paloma said Gutierrez will be living with her grandson, Antoine Chagnon, for the time being.
Donations to Elia Gutierrez can be made by visiting GoFundMe.com.
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck