Patient’s age: 64-years-old
Admission Date: 04/08/20
Admitted From: Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, FL
Discharge Date: TBD
Length of Stay: 12 weeks
Reason for Stay: Severe tissue injury/ dog attack
How did this patient hear about The Bristol: Resident was referred to The Bristol from her social worker at Blake Medical Center.


Details of experience
On what was the most horrific and traumatic day of her life, Ms. Debra Ann B. was viciously attacked by four mastiff dogs on February 8, 2020. Ms. B. was home in her backyard with her own very small dog when suddenly, she heard “oh no, they’re out”. With being such an animal lover herself, Debra quickly picked up her dog to protect it when the neighbor’s dogs ran over and jumped on her. Worried that her small dog would be eaten by the mastiffs, Debra tucked her dog leaving herself exposed as a human shield. The attack went on for several minutes leaving Ms. Debra lifeless and in need of some desperate help.

Firefighters and neighbors eventually rescued Ms. Debra, but the damage from the attack had been done. The attack was so brutal that Debra was airlifted to Blake Medical Center, Bradenton FL where she was hospitalized for wounds sustained from an attack by multiple dogs. She was found to have bite wounds to her neck, posterior scalp, arms, left breast, abdomen, left flank, posterior left thigh, and left leg with exposed tendons. Ms. Debra had to have a total of thirty surgeries while at The Blake Medical Center.

Surviving this devastating experience and with the phenomenal experts of Blake Medical Center, Debra was admitted to The Bristol at Tampa Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on April 8, 2020, for physical and occupational therapy. When. Debra had arrived at The Bristol, she was feeling a little down and depressed. However, she was determined and motivated to complete the program so she could return home to be with her dog that she saved from the attack. Ms. B. met with the team here at The Bristol and her remarkable journey began.

The first few weeks were a bit difficult, because Debra was a max assist resident and needed total care from the nursing and therapy team members. Melody, her physical therapist, worked side by side with her during the progress period. Therapy had to use a Hoyer lift for Debra in order to transfer her into her wheelchair. Debra was not happy about this process, so she decided to work even harder to reach her goals of transferring without any assistance. She never gave up and throughout this entire process, she always remained with a positive attitude. Debra continued therapy, and with the supportive care of our occupational, Arika, each day was looking brighter and brighter.

She is now able to transfer with modified independence and safely ambulate on level surfaces 150 feet using a four-wheel walker with supervised assistance. Additionally, she can safely propel herself in a wheelchair on leveled surfaces.

During Debra’s recovery here at The Bristol, she dedicated her time in handcrafting Nurse Badge Reel Holders for each staff member, as a token of her appreciation. The Bristol would like to thank Debra for our beautiful badge holders and wish her much success as she prepares to return safely to her home.