A British child girl was mauled by a coyote on holiday in America leaving her ear hanging off.
Elodie Lewis, 3, was watching the sunset on North Herring Cove Beach near Provincetown, Massachusetts on a break with her older sister, mum Megan Lewis, dad Michael and her maternal grandmother when the attack happened on August 11.
Megan, from South Morden, south London told MyLondon: "I’ve been going there since I was young and I’ve been taking my kids there since they were babies.
"We decided to stay out and watch the stars as the sun was fading, lying on a blanket looking up.
"Elodie was few feet away and suddenly we heard her scream, look over and it looked like a massive dog."
It was dark at this stage so Megan could not see the danger Elodie was in and thought it might have just been someone's pet that had got off its lead.
Megan continued: "My husband was there in two steps and screamed at the coyote to go away and it backed off a little.
"I still thought it was a dog that had just spooked her. Michael ran back to the car and as I walked after them I saw it following us. Then I saw it was a coyote."
She went on: "I was terrified. As soon as I realised I didn’t’ know what to do. My natural instinct was to scream at it. It was staring at me in the eyes. I was worried for myself, for my mum's safety.
"It stalked us back to the car. It had no fear of us. It was less than two feet away from me."
Getting back to the car, the family went into panic mode as Elodie was clearly injured.
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The mum said there was blood all over her daughter's face but with no phone reception, they couldn't call for help without driving up the road.
"I ripped off my sweatshirt and was compressing her wounds," Megan added.
"Her ear was basically hanging off. It was completely mutilated and she had cuts on her face and her neck."
When the family finally managed to get an ambulance, it was still an hour's drive to the nearest hospital due to the remote location of the attack.
Once there, doctors sprang into action, giving Elodie three doses of ketamine to help with the pain while a plastic surgeon tended to her wounds.
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Though thankful for the care the family got, healthcare in the United States can leave patients with a hefty bill.
Before the medical staff even gave the child pain killers tasked for travel insurance details to make sure they could pay – but the insurance was not able to cover all of it as it was held against them for not calling first.
The mum defended her actions, explaining: "Even if we could have called them I was focused on my daughter – if she was going to be okay – if she had rabies. Calling them would have been the last thing I‘d have thought of."
Because of this, the family are worried they could be stuck with a medical bill of around $35,000, which equates to around £25,000.
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The concerned mum said: "I’m worried we’ll have to re-mortgage our home, it's more than our life savings.
"There’s no way we’ll be able to pay it."
Park rangers at the beach shot and killed the coyote that attacked Elodie.
Though there was an initial fear of rabies, testing showed the animal didn't have it.
Despite the trauma of the attack, Elodie is recovering well.
A desperate Megan, now with Elodie safely back in the UK, has launched a fundraiser asking well-wishers to help with the medical costs.
The fundraiser for Elodie's medical bills can be found here.
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