S.C. Mother Who Lost Both Arms in Dog Attack Returns Home After 7 Weeks in Hospital

Kyleen Waltman, 38, had been undergoing intensive treatment at a hospital since she was brutally attacked by three dogs in March

https://www.gofundme.com/f/jb5xfu-medical-and-financial-help Kyleen Waltman
Kyleen Waltman. Photo: GoFundMe

A South Carolina mother who was brutally mauled by dogs in March has finally returned home from the hospital, her sister tells PEOPLE.

Kyleen Waltman, 38, spent the last seven weeks undergoing intensive treatment at a health care facility after she was attacked by three dogs while walking down a Honea Path road on the morning of March 21.

Waltman was narrowly rescued when a passerby discovered her beneath the dogs and scared them off, but the near-fatal injuries she had already sustained would lead to a series of health challenges, surgeries and amputations as her body fought to survive.

Most notably, the mother of three lost both of her arms in the aftermath of the attack.

Throughout Waltman's healing journey, her sister, Amy Wynne, kept the public updated on her progress via a GoFundMe campaign created to help cover medical bills. The updates detailed several triumphs and setbacks — moments when she was awoken from sedation and taken off life support, and moments when unforeseen challenges caused them to put her back under.

On April 4, as Waltman was running a high fever and battling low oxygen levels, Wynne said their mother worried that she was giving up. But even in the difficult moments, she assured people following along that they, as a family, were not giving up.

"The lord has brought her this far for a reason," Wynne wrote in the April 4 update. "Her story is not done."

Wynne's final hospital update, posted on April 27, noted that Waltman was now "fully aware" of what happened to her and "still has a long way to go."

"Kyleen has came a long way from where she was a month ago, till now," Wynne wrote. "And our family is very thankful for all of you for everything that you all have done to help not only Kyleen through this but, also her family. We will never be able to repay you all back for everything."

At the time of publishing, the GoFundMe page set up to support Waltman had garnered more than $250,000 in donations.

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PEOPLE confirmed with Abbeville County Animal Shelter & Control that the dogs that attacked Waltman — two pit bulls and one mixed breed — were euthanized immediately after the incident.

Eight additional dogs found on the property were signed over to the shelter by their owner, Justin Minor, and delivered to animal rescues.

Minor has been charged with three counts of penalty for the owner of a dangerous animal that attacks or injures a human, one count of a dangerous animal not permitted beyond premises unless restrained, and one count of a rabies control chapter violation.

He was released on a $15,000 surety bond three days after the attack. It is unclear if he has entered pleas to the charges against him, and his defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

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