Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
These are the injuries suffered by an Austrian man after half of his nose was bitten off at a barbecue by a police dog and had to be reattached twice before it could be saved.
The incident happened when the victim, Lukas Schifferl, was at a barbecue in his home city of Klagenfurt, the capital of the Austrian state of Carinthia.
The police dog belonged to a friend of his who was also there.
Speaking about what happened, Lukas said: “Suddenly the dog bit me and half of my nose was gone, there was blood everywhere, I was in total shock.”
An ambulance was called and the rescuers managed to find the severed nose which they transported with the injured man to the Klagenfurt General Hospital where they reattached it a first time. However, it reportedly fell off.
He said: “When I arrived at the hospital immediately afterwards, I looked at myself in the mirror and it knocked me off my feet, I just collapsed. I had no idea how I was going to go on.”
In desperation, he had then paid a private clinic in Styria to have a second attempt and this time round it was a success. Schifferl said: “I felt better with this doctor and he explained everything.”
However, despite the success of the second operation, ever since he has been trying to get the money back after the insurance company for the police dog said they were only obliged to pay the costs of the first operation, which was 2,500 EUR (2,100 GBP).
However, they refused to pay the 9,400-EUR (8,200-GBP) cost of the second operation until the man went to local media, who published these shocking images and now the insurance company have agreed to pay for the second operation.
He was just 31 years old when the attack happened in 2015, and even now that the recent publicity has persuaded the insurance company to pay his medical costs, his ordeal is not over.
He still has difficulty breathing through his nose and has been left with horrific scars. However, the chance of gaining further compensation is limited by the fact that the owner of the police dog who was prosecuted was acquitted by a court of any responsibility.
As well as the scars he also has a small hole in his nose but added now that he had got the money back he was not going to go further any longer. He said: “I am going to leave it as it is and will have to learn to live with it.”
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