A young Arizona mother is out of a coma but still faces a long recovery after a 20-minute attack by her pet pit bull as she protected her 3-year-old daughter. Crystal Trenkamp has serious wounds and scars and will require additional surgeries, AZfamily reports. A nurse still visits daily to change her bandages.
Crystal is still shocked at the savageness the 6-year-old dog she had from a puppy turned on her and her daughter, Emma. She says the dog never showed any aggression until July 25.
It was Emma’s third birthday, and she was playing in the backyard of their Avondale home when the dog suddenly attacked the toddler. Trenkamp said if she hadn’t intervened, she believes the dog would have killed Emma.
She told reporters that when she heard Emma’s screams and saw what was happening, she ran out and grabbed the dog.
“I opened his mouth, got him off her, and pushed her inside the house where she would be safe,” she told AZfamily. “Then he just started biting me.”
Trenkamp sustained more than 50 bites to her legs, arms and hands during the attack that lasted about 20 minutes.
The dog tore large chunks of flesh from his Trenkamp’s body and ripped her leg open to the bone. He so severely damaged one of her fingers on the right hand that it had to be amputated. A tendon in her arm was severed so that she cannot move the fingers in her hand, the Daily Mail reports.
Fortunately, as she felt herself weakening from loss of blood, her mother arrived. “About another minute or two, I think he would’ve killed me,” she said.
Cynthia Trenkamp, Crystal’s mother, walked in on the gruesome scene in her daughter’s backyard and grabbed a shovel and started beating the pit bull. “I was terrified of losing her,” Cynthia said.
The mauling mercifully ended when Crystal's nephew rushed in and lifted the dog by his back legs, causing him to release his hold on his victim.
Crystal was rushed to the hospital, where she was initially given only a 20 percent chance of survival. Her recovery has been called miraculous by doctors.
But she still faces more surgeries and an estimated three more years of rehab. She cannot work and is struggling to pay her bills.
Aside from receiving stitches for wounds from the attack, little Emma is doing well.
“I have no idea what triggered it,” Crystal said about the pit bull, who had been a beloved family pet. “He was trained, and always good with the kids.”