Linda Venter (37) is back with her family in Brentwood Park, Benoni, after she and her 11-year-old son, Breyden, were mauled to death by their faithful family dog almost a month ago.
RNews previously reported that on the relevant Tuesday afternoon, Linda was hanging laundry in the backyard while Breyden, as on many other days, played with his rugby ball around her.
Zeus, the family’s dog, suddenly attacked Breyden moments later, after which Linda jumped in to free her son from the dog’s jaws. She is left-handed and tried to keep Zeus away from her with her right arm, while she kept her left arm over her throat to prevent him from grabbing her there.
The dog, presumably a cross between a Danish dog and a bull terrier, completely crushed her right arm and it almost had to be amputated at her shoulder.
“However, on Wednesday – after almost a month and on some very strict conditions – Linda was officially discharged from the hospital,” says Philip Stoneman, a chaplain for Trauma Support SA and also Linda’s brother-in-law.
“She is at home recovering with the instructions that she should continue as if she were still in the hospital. This means that the risk of infection is still very high and that she is not allowed to go out.”
According to Stoneman, Linda has a vacuum on her right shoulder and she has to see the doctor every five days to keep an eye on the wounds.
“Linda is also going to attend a rehabilitation center on an outpatient program; we are still waiting to hear when it will start.”
Stoneman says that the whole family is ecstatic that Linda is home again, but that her husband, Marius, as well as their two sons, Brendan and Breydan, are especially excited to have her back.
“It was a very unexpected tragedy; yet a miracle that took place right before our eyes.”
According to Stoneman, Breyden was examined by Linda’s surgeon on Thursday to get a second opinion about a wound on his back that is not healing.
“The doctor wanted to take him to the theatre, but decided against it. Breyden contracted an infection in his wound and is now being treated with antibiotics for it.
“Breyden and Linda will go back to see the doctor on Monday, and if the infection has cleared up enough, Breyden will probably go to theater so that the wound can be cleaned and cared for,” says Stoneman.
“We understand that there are quite a few people who would like to stop by to say hello to Linda, but we ask that everyone respect the doctors’ wishes and give her a little more time to recover.”