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.
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development