By Rebecca Drew
THIS WOMAN survived being viciously mauled by FIVE of her grandma’s BULL MASTIFF DOGS when she was just ELEVEN which saw her in hospital for THREE-MONTHS and was cruelly labelled a ‘dog chew toy’ at school by bullies – but now wants to show that scars are beautiful.
Landscaper, Jynnie Kent (26) from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, was at her grandma’s on her 11th birthday when she went outside to play with her dogs but instead was brutally attacked by five of her bull mastiffs which were later put down.
Jynnie’s grandad found her and tried to pull the dogs off her whilst Jynnie was rushed to hospital and suffered 13 tears all over her body and more than 150 puncture wounds which required more than 1,000 stitches. Jynnie was in a coma for two days after the attack and in hospital for three months while she recovered and learnt to walk again.
Jynnie’s throat was ripped open and the main artery in her right leg was lacerated and she lost a lot of blood. 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.
At school, Jynnie was mercilessly bullied by her peers and called a ‘dog chew toy’ and told that the dogs should have killed her, this saw her struggle 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 mum’s support to embrace her scars in shorts and hasn’t looked back since. Now Jynnie hopes to be a role model to men and women to show them that scars are beautiful and something to be proud of.
“On October 26, 2003, I was viciously mauled by five of my grandmother’s bull mastiff dogs leaving my entire body scarred. I suffered 13 tears all over my body, over 150 puncture wounds and about 1,000 stitches inside and outside of my body. I had a skin grafting repair on my lower right leg, suffered severe blood loss and I was hospitalised for three months,” said Jynnie.
“When my grandfather realised 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. When my grandfather found me I was at the point of giving up and prepared to die because I could barely speak or breathe because one of the dogs had ripped my throat open.
“It was cold and rainy that day, while I was being attacked the dogs 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 unrecognisable.
“The dogs had torn the main artery in my right leg and that there was no pulse, 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 ten hours of intensive surgery, Dr Rubin was able to save my leg. After intensive rehabilitation and physio therapy, I learnt how to walk again. 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.
“As a teenager I hid my scars from everyone. I had social anxiety and battled with low self-esteem. I thought no one would ever love me because of these scars, 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.
“Eventually I got tired of all the long clothes and self-harm. I no longer wanted to hide behind the wall I built. 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.
“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 mum saw me, she marvelled 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 mum, Shelley, for being by her side throughout her whole ordeal and for helping her come to terms with her scars and now she doesn’t care what other people think of her and wants to inspire others to accept their flaws.
Her attack hasn’t stopped Jynnie from being a dog lover and she now has three dogs of her own; Buddy, a Labrador German Sheppard mix; Molly, a Pomeranian Chihuahua mix and Leo, a red nosed Pitbull.
“I feel too beautiful to care about what anyone thinks about me or my scars, I’m at peace with the scars and nothing can take that from me,” she said.
“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, 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.
“What I would say to someone who is going through a similar situation to what I went through, if they’re going through body shaming because of a scar from an accident, self-inflicted abuse, stretch marks, or a c-section, I would say please don’t hide who you are, your scars are beautiful and they show the strength of a fighter.
“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.
“I have a favourite 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.”