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Elderly woman savaged by rat as she slept like 'scene from Rambo'

The family of a woman savaged by a rat while she slept in her bed have released an image of the animal.

Diana Kirk, 76, suffered "absolutely horrific" injuries to her face and body and was found by her husband, John, at 5.45am on Monday, May 9. Since the distressing incident, John has detailed what happened to his wife and shared the graphic images in the hopes of warning others to be vigilant of rodents.

Mrs Kirk was unable to feel what the rat was doing to her due to brain damage. She sleeps downstairs in the couple's home in Bingham, near Nottingham, on a hospital bed and is cared for by her husband John, aged 85, and a team of carers who regularly visit their home to provide further help.

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Mr Kirk explained he was asleep upstairs when he heard a rat "scratching around" at his feet late at night, as reported by NottinghamshireLive. Later, at around 1.30am, he heard the scratching sound again before he fell asleep again and woke up shortly before 6am, the time he usually wakes up.

When he went downstairs to see his wife, he found her caked in blood, with her face and neck covered in claw and bite marks. Mrs Kirk's eyelids, fingers and elbow had been gnawed by the huge 9-inch rodent, which had been nesting in a sideboard in their home where the couple kept birdseed.

Diana Kirk was attacked by a rat while she slept. The pensioner has brain damage so was unable to call for help during the awful incident. (Tom Maddick / SWNS)

Speaking to SWNS, Mr Kirk said: "At first I thought Diana had been shot. 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. It was like a scene from Rambo. Absolutely horrific. She was just shaking with her hands by her neck staring up at me."

Graphic images below

He added: "I've never seen anything like the injuries she had - you can see how bad they were from the pictures. 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. He continued: "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."

Diana Kirk, 76, was brutally attacked by a rat while she slept at home in Bingham (submitted/NottinghamshireLive)

After Mrs Kirk was taken to hospital, a neighbour helped Mr Kirk set up a rat trap in the home. Mr Kirk said the rat was caught and trapped in the cage before being moved to the patio - but it tried to bite him several times. A neighbour then killed the rat, shooting it with a pellet gun four times.

Mr 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."

The rat has been killed (John Kirk / SWNS)

Helen Speed, the care manager at Home Instead East Notts and Melton Mowbray, a care agency which supports Mr and Mrs Kirk, offered comments on the situation. The care manager said: "A few weeks ago another one of our caregivers was in Bingham and heard some squealing - there was a rat inside a client's dustbin.

"I think it must be an ongoing issue and one that I think people living nearby need to be aware of - especially if they are vulnerable."

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