A Faulkner County man that was airlifted to a Little Rock hospital following a dog attack Wednesday will stay at the hospital for at least two weeks pending recovery. However, his wife said the complete recovery process is expected to take much longer.
A gray pitbull lunged at 75-year-old Roy Havens at his home, "clenching down with his teeth and shaking his head" around 2 p.m., Jane Havens said Friday.
Jane said she’d noticed the dog come near their home at 12 Langley Lane, just north of Greenbrier, earlier that day, noting it seemed "mad and angry" as it continued to bite down on the back bumper of her Ford Explorer.
Emergency responders arrived on scene around 3 p.m.
Paramedics initially feared the dog had severed Roy’s legs. However, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) spokesman Adam Bledsoe confirmed neither of the victim’s legs was severed. Roy lost a finger and underwent surgery Thursday to remove the remaining portion of the finger.
"It breaks my heart to see him go through this," Jane said.
She said she was thankful her husband wasn’t killed during the incident.
"I ask everyone to pray for healing," Jane said. "I’m thankful the dog didn’t go for his throat first." Roy was airlifted to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and arrived around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Jane said doctors have sealed all the puncture wounds and that, following the surgery to remove the remaining portion of his injured finger, doctors began working to clean injuries to Roy’s legs. Roy showed improvement Friday morning and was transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
His wife said the healing process does not end when he is released from the hospital. Doctors will continue to monitor how well injuries to Roy’s legs heal. Jane said skin graft surgeries to each leg were necessary but couldn’t be performed quite yet because the patches used to cover damaged areas would not adhere to wet skin.
"He’s been miserable, the dog took big chunks out of his legs but he does a little better each day," Jane said.
Jane said the incident was unprovoked. Jane said her brother shot and killed the dog to get it to stop attacking Roy. Jane and Roy are both retired, giving Jane the opportunity to stay at the hospital with him, she said.
Bledsoe said the incident remains under investigation.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)