Pit Bull Attack Victim Recovers To Speak Of Her Ordeal
Pit bulls mauled a Nassau County woman so badly that some people didn't expect her to survive the late September attack. On Tuesday, however, Shashi Sharma, 62, talked about her successful recovery before heading home for the first time in eight weeks.

On September 29th, the two pit bulls mauled Sharma so severely that one of her arms was laid bare to the bone from the shoulder to the wrist. The cosmetic surgeon who led the four medical teams that put her back together listed the other parts of the North Merrick woman's body that the dogs tried to tear apart. "Arms, hands, legs, face, neck, scalp," Dr. Louis Riina of Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) said at a newsconference. "I've never seen an animal attack that resulted in this much tissue destruction," he said.

Ms. Sharma was also at the Tuesday noon newsconference at NUMC. A close look at her showed that her scalp is still wounded, but overall, the Nassau County realtor looked healthy and in good spirits. In contrast to her condition when she had entered the hospital eight weeks earlier, Sharma could easily and normally speak and move.

"I am highly grateful to Dr. Riina and his medical staff," Sharma said in prepared remarks. "Without that, today wouldn't have been possible."

Sharma asked for her privacy to be respected, then was wheeled out of the hospital while the newsconference continued inside. A look on her face revealed a smile as she got into a relative's car on her way home. Her son, Suraj Sharma, said later at the newsconference that his mother was happy to not be spending the night in a hospital bed for the first time in eight weeks.

On that Thursday in late September when the attack took place, Ms. Sharma had just finished walking around the track in an athletic field at the Brookside Community Center, a few blocks from her home. The dogs came seemingly from nowhere and pounced on her. She would later tell her doctors how the pair of pit bulls grabbed her arm and flung her cellphone out of her hands. Surveillance tape from cameras on the community center confirmed her account. There was nobody else around at the time, so it was key for her to reach her cellphone lifeline.

Even though the dogs were eating her alive, Sharma miraculously managed to move herself over to her phone and dial 911. That act saved her life, and so did her chutzpah.

"She's a very strong, strong woman," Sharma's son said about his mother. It was evident at the newsconference that he looks up to her, even though he's a full nine inches taller than she. As for her canine attackers, a posse of Nassau County special tactics cops tracked them down and killed them within three weeks of the attack, before they could strike again.

Even though the dogs are gone, Shashi Sharma's story continues to unfold. Her doctors say she is still missing flesh from small sections of one of her legs and the upper part of one of her arms, and will have another surgery before Christmas to help repair that damage. Also, another question remains: will she ever go back to the scene of the damage, the track at the Brookside Community Center, where the dogs attacked her?

"As for returning to the track," her son Suraj Sharma, 23, said, "I don't see that happening." He added that in the weeks since the pit bull attack, his mother has made every effort to focus only on her recovery, rather than on what happened to her. In fact, she seems to be trying very hard to forget it. "She's asked us not to talk with her about the incident," Suraj said at the newsconference.

Also, neither he nor his mother would say anything about the dogs who caused her to be in the hospital in the first place, or about the dogs' owner. Nassau County Police told PIX11 News that after an investigation, the department found no reason to charge the owner with any criminal wrongdoing.