Disabled woman, 76, attacked by rat as she slept in living room

·3-min read

WARNING: Graphic images below

Diana Kirk, 76, after she was attacked by a rat in her home in Nottingham. (Reach)
Diana Kirk, 76, after she was attacked by a rat in her home in Nottingham. (Reach)

WARNING: This story contains graphic images

A disabled elderly woman was taken to hospital after she was attacked by a rat in her sleep last week.

Diana Kirk, 76, was left with shocking facial injuries in the attack, which happened at her home in Nottingham.

She was discovered by her husband, John, 85, at 5.45am last Monday. He said there was "blood everywhere".

Mrs Kirk, who has brain damage and cannot feel pain, sleeps downstairs in her home in a hospital bed.

She is cared for by her husband and a care team who visit their house.

Mr Kirk said he was asleep upstairs when he heard a rat "scratching around" by his feet.

Diana Kirk was attacked by a rat as she slept in her home. (Reach)
Diana Kirk was attacked by a rat as she slept in her home. (Reach)
A rat attacked an elderly disabled woman at her home in Nottingham. (Google)
A rat attacked an elderly disabled woman at her home in Nottingham. (Google)

At about 1.30am, he noticed it again, before falling asleep and waking up just before 6am.

He went down to the living room where his wife had been sleeping and saw her face was covered in blood. He called an ambulance, which arrived at about 8.20am.

Mr Kirk said: "I've never seen anything like the injuries she had - you can see how bad they were from the pictures. It was absolutely savage.

The rat which attacked Diana. (Reach)
The rat which attacked Diana. (Reach)

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"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."

WARNING: Graphic image below

The rat was caught in a cage the next morning after a neighbour set up a trap in the house.

Mr Kirk said the rat tried to bite him multiple times as he moved it to the patio. He said a neighbour killed the rat, shooting it four times with a pellet gun before it died.

"Because of her condition, my wife can't move," said Mr Kirk. "I have since read that rats only ever go for young babies and people who are immobile in bed like my wife.

(Reach)
Diana Kirk, 76, was the victim of a 'savage' attack by a rat in her home. (Reach)
Injuries sustained by Diana. (Reach)
Injuries sustained by Diana. (Reach)
Husband John Kirk and Diana Kirk. (Reach)
Husband John Kirk and Diana Kirk. (Reach)

"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."

Helen Speed, care manager at Home Instead East Notts and Melton Mowbray, which provides care to Mr and Mrs Kirk at their home, said: "A few weeks ago another one of our care givers 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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