A mother has half an ear after it was bitten off and left on the floor of a taxi while trying to peacemaker between feudal sisters one night.
Gillian Furphy was celebrating her brother Peter’s engagement last October when she was attacked by 22-year-old Amy McInulty.
After the savage attack, half of her left ear was on the floor of a taxi.
The 45-year-old nurse from Glasgow, Scotland, was hospitalized where it took 19 stitches to close the 5cm incision.
But her nightmare was far from over, with just weeks later her wound became infected and triggered fatal sepsis – when the body accidentally attacks itself – making her so uncomfortable that she missed her brother’s wedding.
McInulty, of Royston, Glasgow, appeared before the Sheriff’s Court in Glasgow in August admitting assaulting, causing serious injury and permanent disfigurement. He was ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid work.
Gillian, who is married to 45-year-old carpenter Derek and has three daughters aged 24, 19 and 15 who she does not want to name, is still angry that she was spared prison and says, “I thought , she would get a harsher sentence. Six months of curfew is nothing if I have half an ear. “
“The girl who did this is 22 – a similar age to my daughters. I just don’t know how someone could behave like that, ”she continued.
“It scares me. If someone can do that, what else can he do? “
Gillian talked about spending the night of October 26th at her brother’s engagement party at a local pub a year later, which McInulty and her older sister also attended.
It was the first time she met the sisters, who both worked with her brother’s partner.
As the night progressed, a handful of partiers – including Gillian and McInulty – decided to continue the fun at a nightclub.
She recalled, “I didn’t speak to Amy at all in the pub, but then we went to a club and figured it would be easier to share a taxi, so I’m with her, her sister, and the partner my brother got in. Another group – including my brother – got into another taxi. “
During the trip, however, there was a dispute between the siblings over a comment one had made about the other’s boyfriend at the time.
Gillian remembered, “I tried to stop her and said,” Come on, we’re having a great night, we’re going to dance. “
“I don’t remember anything about the attack itself, but the next thing I knew we had stopped and I was standing in front of the taxi.”
She continued, “Amy’s sister was standing there yelling, ‘Your ear is in the taxi. ‘So I picked it up off the floor, thanked the driver and said,’ Right, are we dancing? ‘ I don’t think it was registered with me whatever. I had no idea what had happened, I was really dazed.
“At that point, Amy had run away. I think everyone else was in shock.
“I was in no pain – even though she had bitten right through the cartilage – but blood ran down my face and I had two black eyes that she hit me three times, but I didn’t notice that until I was ins Came to the hospital. “
From there, Gillian was driven to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, where her family joined her.
She added, “My family said,” Oh my god, look at your face. “I had a bandage wrapped around my head. My brother, who had been in the cab before me, came to the hospital about 40 minutes later and was hysterical when he saw me.”
It was too late to reattach the torn part of her ear. After a night in the hospital, she had 19 stitches to close the wound and was sent home.
In the meantime, police followed McInulty to her home, arrested her and charged her with the attack.
Three days later, when Gillian went to a 24-hour walk-in center to find out why she had a constant ringing in her left ear, it was found that she had burst her eardrum as well.
Then, nine days after the attack, she returned to the hospital to have the sutures removed.
“I wanted to try to get back to normal and get my ordeal over with,” she said.
But a month later, in November, she felt uncomfortable, low on energy, and generally under the weather.
She continued, “At first I attributed it to everything that had happened – it was all too much.”
“But over the next few weeks I got a lot worse. I started hallucinating, I saw my grandma, who I was very close to and who had died three years before, ”said Gillian.
She kept telling me to put my jacket on because it was too cold. I told my husband to get my coat or she would go without me.
“My temperature rose to 42 ° C. Anything over 38 ° C is considered a fever. “
Worried, Gillian’s husband, Derek, took her to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where she was admitted and held for nine days.
After a blood test and an X-ray, doctors concluded that she had developed sepsis – a life-threatening condition, according to the NHS, that occurs when the immune system overreacts to an infection and damages the body’s own tissues and organs, symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, nausea , Speech disorders, chills and disorientation.
“Doctors said if I had left for a few more days I would have ended up in intensive care,” said Gillian, who was told the sepsis was caused by an infection in her ear.
She added, “The first thing surgeons did was open my ear again, but by that point the infection had reached my kidneys and I was given a drop of antibiotics as well. It had worked its way through my body since the accident. They thought it started with the bite. “
Gillian was allowed to go home about eight days before Christmas.
Unfortunately, she was too uncomfortable to attend her brother’s wedding on December 16.
She recalled, “My daughters were bridesmaids. It was terrible. They kept sending photos and I just wish I could have been there.
“At Christmas my two daughters put up the tree, but I couldn’t go out. I love Christmas – it’s the best time of the year – but I couldn’t enjoy it. I’ll make it up to you this year.”
By New Year’s Eve she had receded quickly, had developed a temperature, and felt so tired that she could no longer raise her head.
When she was taken back to the hospital, the doctors confirmed that she still had sepsis.
“I was put on a drop again and this time held for seven days,” she said.
“I’m the kind of person who deals with things on my way, so I thought,” It happened and I can’t do anything, I just have to take care of it. “
In August, McInulty appeared before the Sheriff’s Court in Glasgow, where she admitted her crimes.
Gillian made a statement to the police but did not attend the hearing as she was not asked to.
Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC sentenced her to 210 hours of unpaid work and a six month curfew from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, telling McNulty: “This was a terrible malicious attack on another person.
“You bit the woman and it is hard to imagine a more demeaning attack on a person than biting them and removing part of their ear.”
Gillian, who is scheduled to have surgery next month to rebuild her cartilage with skin from her thigh, has found that having half her ear missing is particularly problematic during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I can’t hang a mask over my ear so I had to use a special clip to attach it to my hair,” she explained. “I’m just glad I don’t have to wear glasses as there is nothing to put them on.”
And even though she feels better physically, the emotional scars from the terrible attack remain deep.
She concluded, “I think about my daughters going out and it scares me now. I make sure I always pick her up, I don’t let her get a taxi.
“I haven’t heard from Amy, she hasn’t apologized at all. Nothing I can do can change what happened, so I just have to get on with my life now.”