A disabled elderly woman had to be taken to hospital after a rat viciously attacked her face while she slept. On 9 May, Diana Kirk was found in bed “with blood everywhere” by her husband John at 5:45 am. The 76-year-old has brain damage and sleeps downstairs in a hospital bed, according to The Mirror.
She is looked after by her 85-year-old partner along with a care team who visit their home Bingham to provide assistance. Kirk’s husband was asleep upstairs when he heard something “scratching around” by his feet, he told the Nottingham Post.
John further explained that he could not see the animal very clearly in the darkness but that it was definitely a large rodent. Around 1:30 am, he noticed it again but then fell asleep and woke up as usual before 6 am.
He then went downstairs to check on his wife in their living room and saw what had happened before calling the ambulance straight away. It arrived just before 8:30 am. Since the terrible news made headlines in the UK, pictures have been shared with John Kirk’s permission, revealing the extent of his wife’s horrific injuries.
“I’ve never seen anything like the injuries she had—you can see how bad they were from the pictures,” he told the Nottingham Post, continuing, “It was absolutely savage. I went and knocked on the door of the young girl over the road as she is also always up early and so she helped. They took Diana to the Queen’s Medical Centre and she came back on Thursday night.”
“There were scratches on her face, her neck, her hands—it had tried to gnaw right through to the bone from the looks of it. There was blood everywhere.”
The following morning, a neighbour set up a trap in the house, and Kirk said the rat was caught and trapped in a cage. As he tried to move it to the patio, he said the creature attempted to bite him several times before his neighbour came to help—managing to kill the rat by shooting it four times with a pellet gun.
Kirk added, “Because of her condition, my wife can’t move. I have since read that rats only ever go for young babies and people who are immobile in bed like my wife. She can’t feel pain so she would not have known much about what happened. I would like people to know what can happen and to be aware of it. I found out a couple of days after it happened that it was making a nest in the house.”
In a case of fortune prediction gone terribly wrong, Capital City Police Peshawar, Pakistan, are currently searching for a proclaimed healer who is accused of convincing a pregnant woman to hammer a two-inch nail into her head. Per local news reports, the unnamed Pakistani woman embedded the nail into her skull after the healer told her that doing so would result in her having a son. Yikes.
The spine-chilling story goes something like this: a woman showed up at a local hospital in Pakistan with a two-inch nail (five centimetres) implanted deep into her skull. According to local outlet Dawn, she had three daughters and was desperately hoping for her current pregnancy to give her a son as she was afraid her husband would leave if she had another girl. Approaching an unlicensed religious healer, she was advised by him to hammer in a nail into her skull in order for her to guarantee she’d be giving birth to a son.
The extreme lengths the woman went to in order to pursue having a male child become more understandable considering the preference of male children in Asia. Several populations use common practises such as dowries and many value the notion of male heirs continuing on the family legacy.
Hospital staff who attended to the woman at the Lady Reading Hospital told Dawn, “She is three months pregnant, and because of her husband’s fear, she went to the faith healer.” The healer in question allegedly gave the woman ‘taweez’ (an amulet for good luck in common South Asia), as well as “things to recite, and the nail.” “The victim then returned home and hammered the nail in her head,” the hospital staff member continued. The woman had initially told them that she hammered it in herself, however she later revealed that the healer she went to had carried out the act.
According to the local publication, family members of the woman heard her screaming in pain and made attempts to remove the nail but were unsuccessful. She also tried to take the nail out herself with pliers. Her family eventually took her to hospital to be treated.
Haider Suleman Khan, the resident neurosurgeon at Lady Reading, also spoke to Dawn and shared that “doctors successfully removed the nail in an operation” after the woman arrived at the hospital. “She said that a woman in her locality did the same and gave birth to a boy even though the ultrasound had shown her unborn child to be a girl,” Khan continued.
An X-ray of the victim’s skull showed that the nail had pierced the top of her forehead but missed her brain miraculously. Khan stated that a hammer or another heavy object must’ve been used to knock it in, according to The Telegraph. He also shared with AFP that the woman was “fully conscious” during the procedure but was in immense pain.”
Now Pakistani police are on the lookout for the charlatan doc. While investigations are ongoing as of now, they are looking for the healer to bring him in for questioning. Covering the story, the BBC noted that the healer’s name still remains unknown and the woman left the hospital soon after the nail was removed without talking to law enforcement.
Insider reported that police are also inspecting CCTV footage in order to ascertain the woman’s identity.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday 8 February, Peshawar police chief Abbas Ahsan claimed that a special task force had been formed to investigate the incident. “The team will also investigate why the incident was not reported to police by the treating doctor,” Ahsan wrote.
The Los Angeles Times also investigated the situation and found that ‘pirs’ (faith healers) are fairly common in Pakistan while police crackdowns on them are rare. However, the usual advice of offering an assortment of herbs to try, advising people to pray for their ailments and money troubles is a far cry from telling someone to hammer a nail into their head.
Among several other translated tweets posted by Capital City Police Peshawar, an update posted today, Thursday 10 February, stated, “The woman’s mental balance does not seem to be right. She is undergoing a medical examination. The woman’s husband has also been included in the investigation.”