Prayers for Paul

Dawn, Cooper, Nougat and Ron Sweeney

Ron & Dawn Sweeney have been very active in our rescue for many years.  They adopted Bling, now Nougat in 2010 and then Noah, now Cooper.  I can always count on their support.  Recently they have been donating Baseball tickets for TDL to Auction, and during Earth Day, Dawn made home made doggie treats, they were a major hit!

The Sweeney’s are very family oriented.  I always get an update on their nieces, whom they adore, and their brother, Paul.  Two days ago, however, I received a horrific email from Dawn, that her brother had been attacked by a gator.  I didn’t hear from Dawn again until last night.

The Dog Liberator folks are very close, a family in and of itself.  I’ve seen what prayers can do, so I’m asking all of you to sending healing thoughts and prayers for Paul’s recovery.    Here’s what Dawn wrote to me last night:

Paul, and daughter Lily

Here is an update on my brother, Paul, and a clearer picture of what happened and how lucky we truly were that there wasn’t a different outcome.

He was fishing from his kayak in one of his favorite spots, over at the Space Center. He was straddling the kayak with his feet in the water and a fish brushed by. Then Paul felt a thump on his foot, thought maybe he had hit a log. Felt pressure but no pain. Pulled his right leg up and found a gator attached, it’s head was about 3 feet, so that puts its size at 8 to 10 feet. It was a male gator that mistook his foot for the fish, much better than a nesting female. Then the gator started to pull him under, he grabbed hold of the kayak to keep him self above up. The gator started to roll, ripping open his foot. He’s not clear how or why but the gator let his foot go. Luckily, with being in shock, he didn’t feel any pain and paddled to a father and son who were out there. In his 15+ years fishing there this was only the 2nd time someone else was out at this spot.

Earlier he had seen the father wasn’t have much success so Paul showed him the path to his secret spot. Fishermen reluctantly give away their fishing spots but in this case it helped save his life. He knew exactly where they were, they helped get them into their truck. The father had to put wading waiters on the floor of his truck to catch the blood and then rushed Paul to the hospital. Before leaving Paul gave his truck keys to the son who packed up all of their belongings and Paul’s and then brought Paul’s truck to the hospital to meet up with his dad.

the other photo, prior to the stitches, was too graphic for me to post

Regarding the injury, there are puncture wounds on the bottom from the gator’s teeth which were the size of Paul’s index finger. The top of the foot was torn off, baring all the bones, ligaments and such (this happen when the gator started its turn). From what they could tell from test so far, remarkably no bones seem to be broken. Other damage is unknown until swelling and infection go down. He has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow but not sure if they will know anymore damage wise plus the focus needs to be on getting the infection out. We do have photos but thought we should ask before sending them since they aren’t pretty to look at.

 I’m so tired from little sleep overnight and emotionally and mentally exhausted from the weekend’s events. 

Congrats on Yaz and Jeter being adopted.   ~ Dawn

Since Dawn sent me this email, her update says that Paul’s foot is swelling at an unbelievable pace.  “Gators have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom 500 PSI,” she wrote.  Paul survived the gator attack, now he must overcome infection, countless surgeries, and therapy.  Please send your prayers for Paul’s speedy recovery.

Email us for more information: TheDogLiberator@gmail.com







1 Comment

  1. Maria DeRosa

    04.30.2013

    Sending good wishes for a speedy recovery from the DeRosa pack!

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