Dogs brutally maul 20-year-old dentistry student
This past Sunday (18 February) 20-year-old Kayleigh Penniken was walking her puppy on Elkie Drive when tragedy struck.
At about 4.40pm she walked past a house where two boerbul/ Rhodesian Ridgeback crosses and two Dobermans were madly barking at her and her puppy. She just passed them when she heard something behind her that sounded like someone running. It is uncertain how the dogs got out of the yard but when she turned around the four dogs charged her. She managed to fight off the attack with her arms, but being a petite woman the dogs managed to pull her to the ground and viciously started mauling her.
Neighbours heard her screams and ran out to help her. By throwing large stones at the dogs they managed to get them off her and chased them back into the yard. A vehicle was parked in front of the gate to prevent them from getting out again. Two ambulances arrived but because Kayleigh is allergic to morphine, they had to wait for a third ambulance to bring other painkillers.
Kayleigh was rushed to Milpark Hospital where she underwent surgery. According to her father, Shandrell, she has puncture wounds all over her body, the skin was ripped off her muscles, her left radius was fractured, and 11 surgical staples were used to close the wounds to her head. She went to theatre again on Wednesday (21 February), and is scheduled for a third operation tomorrow (23 February). More surgeries may be required.
The doctors are concerned about the wounds where her skin was ripped off and at this stage they cannot tell to what extent movement in her arms and hands has been affected by possible nerve/ muscle damage. She requires rehabilitation therapy to regain mobility. As a second-year dentistry student at Wits, this attack has caused her future career to hang in the balance. She probably will not be able to continue her studies this year as she will be missing a large number of lectures over the next few weeks and months.
Kayleigh is extremely traumatised, and has nightmares and flashbacks about the attack. She is currently receiving trauma counselling and would need many such sessions going forward.
A case has been opened at the Roodepoort Police Station.
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Credit: Roodepoort record