A paraplegic girl was attacked by a mischief of rats while she was sleeping in her house, in Roubaix, northern France, near the Belgian border. The 14-year-old girl was later found with several scars in all of her body while she was covered in blood, according to her family. Reports said Friday that the French girl is now hospitalized and presenting critical conditions.
Samantha, the disabled girl, suffered around 200 injuries in the face, hands, and feet, a medical expert told France Info. Her father, Jerome, woke up on last Saturday morning, Sept. 2, and found his daughter laying on her bed where she was supposed to be peacefully sleeping, but instead she was completely wounded.
In the night, the family was sleeping on the second floor of the rented residence, while Samantha was doing the same downstairs, in a medical bed. When the sun rose, Jerome went to her daughter’s bed and found such a horrible picture; he even first thought that his daughter had been the victim of a botched burglary. He described the scene as a “pool of blood,” according to the Independent.
Paraplegia is a type of partial paralysis that keeps a person from doing normal functions with the lower parts of their body – from the waist down. This doesn’t mean that the person can’t have healthy legs, according to SpinalCord. It is the brain or the spinal cord which fails at sending and receiving signals of the lower body, interfering this way with its regular movements.
This inability to voluntarily move the lower parts of the body usually affects toes, feet, legs, and sometimes the abdomen. Paraplegia can be caused by diseases since the moment of birth, and injuries or traumas – most of them produced by motor vehicles accidents or falls. As each individual presents Paraplegia distinctly, it can be separated into two types: complete paraplegia, which means that the region of the spinal cord is totally damaged – preventing the person from feeling and using their legs – and partial paraplegia, making the victim vary between its legs’ capacity to feel or to move.
Injuries that can’t be repaired
Jerome took her daughter to the hospital right at the moment when he found her bleeding for no visible-reason. After they arrived at the clinical center, forensic pathologists examined her and concluded that the injuries were caused by a mischief of rats that attacked her during the night. The doctors described the wounds as scratches and bites of these rodents, which tends to contain virus and infections due to the conditions of the places they frequent.
“There was blood coming from her ears – I was terrified that she might have had a brain hemorrhage,” Jerome, who has other two children, told the French newspaper Courrier-Picard. “She cannot get out of bed. Because of her condition, she is less sensitive to pain than we are… She must have felt the rats on her but did not have the presence of mind to call us.”
After several tests, the experts found that the girl suffered 45 facial lesions, 150 on her hands and 30 on her feet. Doctors said that the rats bit her fingerprints so much, they couldn’t’ repair them not even with surgery. Some of them are completely destroyed.
However, the doctors also vaccinated her and carried tests to know if Samantha had caught any infection, such as rabies. Fortunately, these came back negative, according to her father and as informed by local media.
After the incident, the girl’s father filed a complaint against the landlord of the house and the city. According to the police, Jerome assured he continually asked them to remove a pile of rubbish bins left in a nearby car park.
Now, the family is no longer living in the same house where this horrible event took place. An investigation has been opened to examine “housing conditions contrary to human dignity,” the prosecutor’s office told AFP.
Although there have been reports of rats chewing and eating human corpses, this kind of incidents are not usual at all. The police are now investigating the rats’ attack to know the reason of this event.
Rats are a serious problem in France
Paris is facing its worst rat crisis in decades, according to the New York Times. In 2016, nine parks and green spaces were closed either partly or entirely because of the huge amount of rats that were infesting the area – like the Champs de Mars, which had to be “de-ratisized.” However, other places couldn’t be closed, like the shrub-filled Boulevard Richard-Lenoir.
Gilles Demodice, who has lived most of his adult life in Paris and worked in the animal pest control department, said that he hadn’t “seen this sort of situation in 39 years.”
Many Parisians don’t like rats because they were who brought the bubonic plague across the Mediterranean in the 19th century. In 2014, the city promised a 100 percent “de-ratization,” but there are still reports of people who have seen rats in the last months.