Bloomington pit bull attack victims find strength to carry on

By Chad Weber

March 3, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:31 AM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- It has been more than four months since a Bloomington couple was viciously attacked by a pit bull. Now hospital bills are piling up from the severe injuries sustained in the incident.

Sunday, community members stepped up to support the couple.

For Connie Ijams, one of the victims, the memories are still all too real.

"I cry all the time." said Connie Ijams. "I got visions you know in my head of that dog coming out the door at me. And I didn't see no beware sign or anything at the door."

Last October Connie and her husband Scott were delivering phone books door to door when they were both attacked by a pit bull.

Connie received serious injuries requiring multiple surgeries during a 10 day stay at the hospital.

The dog's owner Shaine Doss has been charged with a class 4 felony and is due in court March 8th.

Until then, the couple is hoping to raise money for medical costs.

"You don't realize how many people are actually behind you until something like this happens," Scott Ijams said. "They just come running out. I got friends I haven't seen since in years just to come support me."

Sunday's benefit included live bands, silent auctions, and food donated from local businesses.

While the benefit seemed to lift spirits for a day, Connie is still suffering from severe nerve damage and numbness, which could mean more medical bills in the future.

"The doctor told me that eventually it might come back but he is not guaranteeing anything," Connie said. "I drop things all the time and I shake."

"She itches pretty bad," added Scott Ijam.

"I cry, I get emotional and this is going to be the rest of my life," said Connie. "What else can I do?"

Despite everything she has been through, Connie said she is thankful for the support she and her husband have received.

"I just hope nothing like this ever happens to anybody, what I'm going through," said Connie.

A donation fund for the Ijams has also been set up through Prairieland Federal Credit Union.

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