When 82-year-old Elsie Kyle took her small chihuahua mix, Lulu, out for a walk around their home in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, one day, she had no idea her life was about to change forever.
According to The Telegraph, Kyle said she spotted the massive alligator coming from a man-made lagoon just 15 meters from her home.
She said, “I tried to run away, but I lost my footing. The gator leapt out of the water and bit down across my legs. That was the first bite. I was in so much shock, I didn’t feel any pain.”
According to The Telegraph, Kyle described the way her femurs broke in the gator’s jaw. She said of her left leg, “it sounded like a massive crack” while her right leg “sort of shattered.”
Kyle described to the outlet how the large alligator dragged her into the water and performed the iconic “death roll.” Kyle was still holding her dog’s retractable leash, which wrapped around her hand during the roll.
While disoriented, Kyle did exactly the right thing and poked the alligator in the eyes. According to The Sun, if you’re ever in a death roll, you should attempt to “gouge the eyes and hit the snout” of the alligator.
Thankfully, the alligator didn’t pull Kyle too deep into the water. When the neighbors noticed the commotion, they ran to help, and they were able to reach Kyle.
After breaking free from the alligator with the help of the neighbors, Kyle was transported to the hospital, where they didn’t expect her to survive.
The Telegraph reports that she spent weeks in the hospital and had to undergo several surgeries. She almost lost both of her legs. Instead, she has rods in her legs and extensive skin grafts. They’re numb and she can’t walk on her own anymore.
Kyle now has to live in an assisted living home for seniors and is no longer independent due to the alligator attack. Thankfully though, she got away with her life.