Saturday, January 16, 2016

Billy and Josie Hillis in illness, fox attack scares

Local councillor Billy Hillis and his wife Josie were hit by double difficulties during the week when Billy had a heart attack, and Josie was attacked by a fox and had to be treated in hospital, writes Brian Byrne.

Billy was fitted with a pacemaker on Monday, and is doing well. Josie had been visiting him on Tuesday night but when she got home she found a fox trying to get at their hens. She tried to shoo it away, but it turned and bit her on the face when she slipped.

"At one stage thought I was fighting for my life," she says. "It caught my face and I had to prise its mouth open. It then tried to chew my finger. I read somewhere that if you blow into an animal's nose it will release its hold. This came into my mind and it worked long enough for me to throw the fox away but it came back and grabbed my arm."

Josie says she was able to reach a stick and beat it over the head and it let go. "It kept coming back at me. I was able to stop it getting me again and get up. After a while it got tired of being beaten back and went away."

Josie had to be treated in Naas hospital, with stitches in the mouth, her ear, and her finger. She says she is 'OK' now, but it was an horrific experience.

Foxes rarely attack humans, which makes the incident all the more scary. Josie says the animal had previously been seen on their property and had already taken some of their hens.