Bethany Hastings always knew at some point she would have to take her active daughter to the hospital — perhaps with a sport-related injury, but not due to a dog attack.
On April 26, Ms Hastings was with her two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter Lainey Bayles, when they noticed their elderly neighbour, who has dementia, outside their home in South Carolina.
The young family helped their neighbour back home on their golf cart and noticed the neighbour's pitbull unrestrained in the yard.
The dog lunged into the golf cart, reaching the young boy first before turning its attention to Lainey.
“First he got my brother, and then second he got me and then third he got my mom,” Lainey told local news station WCSC.
To prevent the dog from attacking her children again, Ms Hastings managed to hold the dog down for 15 "terrifying" minutes while help got there.
She said the dog continuously tried to attack her the entire time.
“I didn’t have a choice,” Ms Hastings told WCSC.
“If I had let go, he would have gotten me or them again.”
Just before emergency workers arrived, a neighbour came across the scene and pulled the two children to safety on his truck.
Little Lainey was left with several huge gashes on her face from the attack, one of which came dangerously close to her right eye.
The three victims were taken to the hospital, and while Ms Hastings and her son were discharged that same night, Lainey was in the hospital for four days — two of which she spent in the ICU.
Lainey suffered several lacerations to her face and Ms Hastings said the extensive damage was unlike anything the hospital staff had ever seen.
The four-year-old will have to undergo several surgeries over the next 12 months.
“She’s in karate and tee-ball, so I thought she’d wind up at the hospital maybe for a broken bone or something crazy like that, but never this. Never,” Ms Hastings said.
While the dog who attacked the family has been put down, Ms Hastings said the attack has left her feeling vulnerable and she urged people with dogs who might be vicious to ensure they are secured.
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