ABBEVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A woman was airlifted to the hospital following a “vicious dog attack” Monday morning in Abbeville County.
According to the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded at 10:30 a.m. to a house on Ball Road in Honea Path.
Once on scene, deputies said they located Kyleen Waltman who was seriously injured.
“She was walking home from her boyfriend’s house to her momma’s, and as far as I know the dogs just jumped on her and you can actually see in the road if you go down there, where she fought the dog, trying to fight them off,” said Tanya Gilmer, Waltman’s best friend.
Emergency Responders also arrived on scene and began giving treatment but the woman had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Witnesses told deputies that three dogs were seen attacking the woman.
On Tuesday evening, Gilmer said Waltman is in critical condition, but is stable in the ICU.
“They pretty much ripped all the meat from her arms, and she has a hole in the back of her head. She has lost her colon. She’s lost both of her arms. She’s going to have to lose her esophagus, and they did save her legs,” Gilmer said.
“I’m still in shock of it. The pictures of her, tore my heart to pieces, but regardless, she’s still the same beautiful Kyleen to me,” Gilmer said. “She’ll always be the same beautiful Kyleen to me,” Gilmer said.
Gilmer said she and Waltman have been best friends for 30 years.
“I love Kyleen like she is my sister. I have no sisters. She is my sister,” Gilmer said. “I grew up with her all my life, since I was seven years old,” she said. “She’s a very outgoing, outspoken person. She’s great. I love her she’s great,” Gilmer said.
Deputies said a witness was able to scare the dogs away. Gilmer said a man riding by witnessed the attack.
“I’m so glad the man found her. I’m glad he found her,” Gilmer said. “They had to shoot a gun to scare the dogs off,” she said.
“I’m absolutely grateful for the guy, whoever it was that stopped and helped her you know, praise the Lord for him being there,” said Mark Gymer Jr., Waltman’s cousin.
“I’m worried about her. I’m angry. The fact that the dogs attacked her,” Gymer said. “It shouldn’t have never happened,” he said. “There’s never any answers to a situation like this. The only thing I can hope is that, Kyleen comes out of this and she’s able to live a somewhat normal life as she can,” Gymer said.
Gilmer said Waltman, a mother of three, and a grandmother to one–will likely be in the hospital for three to four months and then rehabilitation.
“As much prayer as possible. She needs help with her bills, her hospital bills,” Gilmer said.
Gilmer said she is grateful Waltman is alive, and loved ones are hopeful for the future.
“She’s alive. She’s a fighter. She’s going to fight through this. I know her. She’s going to fight through it,” Gilmer said.
“Just pray for her and my cousins, my aunt. Matter fact, my whole family really,” Gymer said. “If everybody would just pray for her and the rest of the family. I can only imagine the changes in her life that she’s going to have to go through with this whole situation,” he said.
“She’s going to make it. There’s not going to be an if,” Gymer said.
Family said Waltman worked at Lou and Perry’s Restaurant in Honea Path. Loved ones said there’s a jar there to help with Waltman’s hospital bills.
Abbeville County Animal Control took possession of the dogs.
Neighbors said those dogs are known on that road. There’s no word yet whether or not the owner will face charges.
This incident remains under investigation by the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office and Abbeville County Animal Control.