The Long Island woman viciously mauled by two pit bulls in September is on the road to recovery, speaking publicly for the first time Tuesday about the progress she was making.
"I want to say this from the bottom of the heart, that I am highly grateful," said 62-year-old Shashi Sharma, with doctors by her side at Nassau University Medical Center.
Without their help, she said, "today wouldn't have been possible."
Sharma's body was nearly ripped apart by the dogs Sept. 29, as she was walking on a track behind a North Merrick school. Police said the attack was unprovoked, and the dogs mauled her in the head, arms and legs.
One of the pit bulls was shot dead on the scene, and the other was located on a street a few weeks later, where police also shot and killed the animal.
Sharma was sent to the hospital in critical condition, and put into an induced coma.
It could take months before she's able to walk at her normal pace since the September attack, but her doctors remain optimistic about her future.
"I really believe that the hardest part of this is behind her," said Dr. Louis Riina, a plastic surgeon who operated on Sharma.
Riina added, "I've seen injuries that are akin to this, but I've never seen an animal attack that resulted in this much tissue construction."
Sharma's son Suraj said he was just happy to have his mother home just in time for the holidays.
"From when I first saw her, she wasn't able to move anything," said Suraj Sharma. "Now she's fully functioning both legs, and she's walking pretty good with a walker."
Riina said Sharma has some more physical therapy to go through. "She has some continuing wound care issues, and she does have at least one more surgery," said Riina.
But Sharma's just giving thanks again for a miraculous outcome.
"Thank you very much, and Happy Thanksgiving," she said.