Dog bite victim’s right arm amputated

Posted Nov. 26, 2010, at 10:38 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:37 a.m.

LAGRANGE, Maine — Karen Stewart, the Prentiss Township woman who was severely mauled by a dog earlier this month in LaGrange, has lost her right arm from the injuries in the attack.

Surgeons at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston removed Stewart’s arm Wednesday night a few inches from the shoulder, her stepsister Tammy Carlow of Clinton said Friday.

Carlow said her family talks with Stewart daily on the telephone.

“She seems to be in good spirits” despite losing an arm, she said.

Surgeons have been grafting skin on the wounds on Stewart’s left arm in an attempt to save that limb, which also was badly damaged during the attack, Carlow noted.

Stewart, 41, had been staying a few days at her friend Vaughn Adams’ home in LaGrange when she decided to go for a walk alone on Nov. 12 and was attacked by a neighbor’s dog. She managed to drag herself back to Adams’ home after being bitten more than 20 times on her body, mostly on both arms.

The American bulldog mix involved in the attack was euthanized last week to be tested for rabies. The animal was not rabid, according to authorities. Its owner, Adam Bemis, 28, has been charged with keeping a dangerous dog.

Stewart is improving. Hospital officials are talking about moving her from the intensive care unit to a regular room, Carlow said.

Carlow said Stewart is worried about what people will think of her when she returns home with one arm, and she’s afraid people will be mad at her because the dog had to be euthanized.

“We told her nobody is mad at her and everybody understands,” Carlow said. She also knows that everyone is praying for her recovery, she said.

Carlow said Stewart continually says “hurry up and get down here” because she misses her family so much.

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