EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Doctors at Nassau University Medical Center said Friday that Shashi Sharma, who was viciously mauled by two pit bulls, is expected to recover.
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Doctors said 62-year-old Sharma is out of her medically induced coma, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.
“Now she’s off the ventilator and breathing on her own, and for the first time got out of bed. Yesterday she stood for first time for a whole body cleansing,” Dr. Louis Riina said.
She was attacked in late September when she was finishing up her daily walk in North Merrick. Two 90-pound pit bulls, one brown, one grey, charged her.
Dr. Riina said she vividly remembers the attack.
“She saw the animals in front of her, she turned and started to walk in the opposite direction and then they next thing she knew, one animal had each of her arms,” he said.
He said Sharma’s injuries are the worst from an animal attack he’s ever seen.
“Her left arm is severely damaged and that she’s going to require a lot of physical therapy and surgery in the long run,” her son, Suraj Sharma, told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey following the attack.
“She also talked about how the dog took the phone, wrenched the phone and threw it,” Dr. Riina said.
Sharma, seeing no one else was around, knew her only hope was to get the phone back.
“So she rolled toward the phone and when she obtained the phone, she managed to call 911 and she said the animals were still trying to take the phone from her hand,” Dr. Riina said.
Responding police shot one of the dogs dead, but the other managed to escape. The surviving dog may also have been shot.
Sharma suffered serious lacerations to the head and deep lacerations to the left arm and both legs on September 29, when she was out for a late morning walk near a school in Merrick. The attack, she says, lasted five to seven minutes.
When she was first hospitalized, doctors were extremely concerned she might lose her left arm. That’s why she was put into a medically induced coma.
Police have since searched for the surviving dog using helicopters and patrol cars.
“It was a prolonged and sustained attack. These dogs are dangerous,” said Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.
Police urge residents to call 911 if they see the animal.
“I’m very nervous. I live in Bellmore. When you go out at dark, you still wonder about the dog running around,” resident Lori Carman told Slattery.
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