A woman who survived being viciously mauled by five of her grandma’s Bull Mastiffs when she was just eleven wants to prove her scars are beautiful after cruel bullies labeled her a ‘dog chew toy’.
Jynnie Kent, 26, from Ontario, Canada, was at her grandma’s house on her 11th birthday when she went outside to play with her dogs, but instead was brutally attacked by them.
The landscaper was in a coma for two days, and had to remain in hospital for three months while she recovered and learned to walk again. And even after she returned to school, Jynnie faced another battle when she was tormented by bullies who made fun of her scars.
‘As a teenager I hid my scars from everyone,’ she explained. ‘I had social anxiety and battled with low self-esteem. I thought no one would ever love me because of these scars.’
Jynnie Kent, 26, from Ontario, Canada, was viciously mauled by five of her grandma’s Bull Mastiffs when she was just eleven, and she has been left with scars all over her body
She suffered 13 tears all over her body and doctors found more than 150 puncture wounds after she was rushed to hospital, where she required over 1,000 stitches
‘I suffered from bullying because of these scars and some kids at my high school would call me a “dog chew toy” and even go as far as telling me the dogs should have killed me.’
But now, 15 years after the attack, Jynnie has found the strength to overcome their cruel words and embrace her scars, learning to see them as a sign of her strength and courage, rather than something she needs to hide.
When the incident took place on October 26, 2003, Jynnie was left with wounds all over her body, revealing that doctors found over 150 punctures when she arrived at the hospital.
‘I suffered 13 tears all over my body, over 150 puncture wounds and about 1,000 stitches inside and outside of my body,’ she explained. ‘I had a skin graft repair on my lower right leg, suffered severe blood loss and I was hospitalized for three months.’
Jynnie recalls her granddad coming to her rescue, but says that he struggled to get the dogs off her – and admits that she was close to giving up hope that she would survive.
‘When my grandfather realized what was happening to me in the backyard he rushed outside and began to beat the dogs off me, but they didn’t want to stop,’ she explained.
Jynnie’s throat was ripped open and the main artery in her right leg was lacerated and she lost a lot of blood following the dog attack. She also had to rely on a cane to walk during recovery
After years of hiding her scars, Jynnie has finally decided to embrace them and hopes to inspire other attack survivors by showing them off, as seen in this photo
‘I was at the point of giving up and [I was] prepared to die because I could barely speak or breathe because one of the dogs had ripped my throat open.’
Jynnie’s injuries were so bad, that when she was rushed to hospital paramedics initially assumed she was a burns victim.
‘It was cold and rainy that day, while I was being attacked the dogs,’ explained Jynnie. ‘They were able to rip all of my winter clothes off, such as my winter coat, snow pants and boots and due to the rain it was very muddy in the yard and I was covered in mud.’
‘When I arrived at the hospital, I was rushed in on a stretcher and the nurse kept yelling asking my grandmother if I was a burns victim.
‘I looked completely black due to the blood and mud. I was unrecognizable.’
I was at the point of giving up… I was prepared to die
Jynnie’s throat had been ripped open and the main artery in her right leg was lacerated and she lost a lot of blood.
‘The dogs had torn the main artery in my right leg and that there was no pulse,’ she explained. ‘The doctors decided that they would have to amputate my right leg to the hip but before they made the decision.
‘They decided to call a vascular surgeon by the name of Dr Rubin who came in and took over the procedure.’
After 10 hours of surgery and skin grafts her leg was saved but she will continue to see her specialist for the rest of her life as she is at risk of artery collapse, which would result in her having her leg amputated from the hip.
‘After intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy, I learned how to walk again,’ she said. ‘Due to the artery in my right leg, I have to see him every six months for the rest of my life as I am still at risk for an artery collapse.’
Jynnie was cruelly labelled a ‘dog chew toy’ at school by bullies – but now wants to show that scars are beautiful
The landscaper was in a coma for two days following the dog attack and in hospital for three months, while she recovered and learned to walk again
At school, Jynnie was mercilessly bullied by her peers and called a “dog chew toy” – and told that the dogs should have killed her. As a result, she struggled with depression and self-harm for eight years.
But as summer approached in 2008, Jynnie decided she was tired of covering up and hiding away, so decided with her mother Shelley’s support to embrace her scars in shorts – and she hasn’t looked back since.
‘Eventually I got tired of all the long clothes and self-harm,’ she explained. ‘I no longer wanted to hide behind the wall I built.’
Jynnie’s wounds required more than 1,000 stitches
‘I wanted to wear a pair of shorts or a skirt or a bikini and I wanted to feel pretty and comfortable in my own skin.’
She continued: ‘After a long night of self-motivation, I woke up for school the next day and put on that pair of shorts I so longed to wear again.’
‘When my mom saw me, she marveled at my courage. She asked me, “are you sure you’re ready?” I replied with a strong yes and left for school. Ever since that day, I’ve been more confident in my own skin.’
Jynnie credits her mother for being by her side throughout her whole ordeal and for helping her come to terms with her scars.
Now, she hopes to be a role model to men and women to show them that scars are beautiful and something to be proud of.
‘I feel too beautiful to care about what anyone thinks about me or my scars,’ she said. ‘I’m at peace with the scars and nothing can take that from me.’
‘When I finally started wearing shorts again I did have some people make fun of my scars, but there were also so many more positives and so many people began to look up to my strength and my courage.’
‘I had so many women come up to me and feel beautiful about themselves because I had the courage to show my scars.’
Now, Jynnie wants to be a role model and show people that scars are beautiful and something to be proud of, saying, ‘I’m at peace with the scars and nothing can take that from me’
‘I had women who were too afraid to wear bikinis shorts or skirts because they have stretch marks or cellulite and after meeting me they now wear short skirts and bikinis.’
And the attack hasn’t stopped Jynnie from being a dog lover and as she has three of her own; Buddy, a Labrador German Sheppard mix; Molly, a Pomeranian Chihuahua mix and Leo, a red nosed Pitbull.
‘What I would say to someone who is going through a similar situation to what I went through is please don’t hide who you are, your scars are beautiful and they show the strength of a fighter,’ she said.
‘Everything happens for a reason and God chose this as your path to show the world your courage.’
‘Just know that you are not alone and that you are beautiful just the way you are, you don’t need to change for anyone just be yourself, you are strong and unique and if you ever feel sad or alone, just know that God is always with you.
She added: ‘I have a favorite quote that I think of everyday and I live by it and it says; “never be ashamed of a scar, it simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” I truly believe in that saying.’