Disabled woman attacked by rat as she slept

Husband finds 76-year-old, who cannot feel pain, covered in blood after rodent bit her repeatedly

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 18 May 2022 11:27 BST
(Tom Maddick / SWNS)

A disabled pensioner suffered a “horrific” attack by a rat as she slept, leaving her caked in blood, her husband says.

John Kirk, 85, woke up one morning to find his wife Diana covered in bites and claw marks following the rodent’s attack.

The pensioner’s eyelids, fingers and elbow had also been chewed on by the rat, which had been hiding in the couple’s home in Bingham, Nottinghamshire.

Ms Kirk, 76, suffers from a number of health problems including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

She is also brain damaged and unable to feel pain following a fall down the stairs some six years ago.

Nine inch long rat nested in couple’s cupboard
Nine inch long rat nested in couple’s cupboard (John Kirk / SWNS)

Due to her health problems, Ms Kirk sleeps in a downstairs room of the couple’s home.

Mr Kirk, a retired tank driver, described the injuries inflicted on his wife of 36 years as “horrific”.

“At first I thought Diana had been shot,” he said. “There was blood everywhere. The rat had tried to eat her to get to her blood. There were bite marks on her cheek and her lips.

“Diana’s fingers and elbow were badly chewed as well.”

Ms Kirk has recovered following a powerful course of antibiotics
Ms Kirk has recovered following a powerful course of antibiotics (Tom Maddick / SWNS)

He added: “The only saving grace is that Diana didn’t know too much about it. She can’t feel pain because of her brain damage.”

Mr Kirk said he heard scratching sounds coming from the living room the night before Ms Kirk, a retired John Lewis shop worker, was attacked.

He said: “We had a rat in the house before Christmas which the council came and got rid of and I’d thought that was that.

“I’d put seeds and peanuts out for the birds in the garden and kept bags of bird food in the sideboard in the living room.

“The rat must have sneaked into the kitchen and set up a nest in the sideboard because the bags of food were all chewed through.

“The night Diana was attacked I’d gone to bed about 10.20pm and had heard scratching behind the TV but didn’t think too much about it.

Mr Krik found his wife covered in blood the morning after the attack
Mr Krik found his wife covered in blood the morning after the attack (John Kirk / SWNS)

“At about 1.30am in the morning I noticed something brush past my bed but fell back to sleep.

“When I came downstairs at 6am the next morning to make Diana a tea, that’s when I saw her covered in blood.

“It was like a scene from Rambo. Absolutely horrific. She was just shaking with her hands by her neck staring up at me.”

Mr Kirk called an ambulance and Ms Kirk was rushed to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where she was cleaned up and given a powerful course of antibiotics.

Mr Kirk, who served in the 6th Tank Regiment and saw action in North Africa in the late 50s, added: “The rat had tried to gnaw right through to the bone.

“Diana had obviously been attacked in the night because the blood had congealed and had gone black.

“I’ve read since that rats only ever go for babies and people who are immobile in bed like my wife.

“I think people need to know the risks about rats and be wary about putting food out for the birds because it obviously got attracted by the seeds and nuts and thought our house would make a good place for a nest.”

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