Saturday 25 February 2017

Parents of twins savaged by fox tell of 'flesh falling off'

Beverley Rouse in London

The parents whose sleeping baby twins were attacked by a fox said it was probably a "freak occurrence" but they are still too frightened to leave doors and windows open.

In a television interview Pauline and Nick Koupparis described flesh falling off nine-month-old Isabella's arm as if "it had been through a cheese grater" and Lola's face covered in blood after the attack.

The couple gave their first detailed interview about the attack as part of a documentary, 'The Fox Attack Twins', which was aired on BBC One last night.

They said they agreed to be filmed by Leopard Films, of which Mr Koupparis is head of finance, to make sure people knew the truth.

Some people doubted the couple's story about how the twins came to be injured and Ms Koupparis described her distress at receiving Facebook messages accusing her of lying.

The couple, who also have a son Max (5), said they had not owned a pet cat or dog for almost five years and did not encourage foxes to visit their garden. They said they put the twins in their separate cots upstairs after having a barbecue supper on June 5.

Leftovers

Leftover food was cooling on the kitchen table and they had left the patio doors open as it was a warm evening.

Just before 10pm they heard one of the twins crying through the baby monitor and Ms Koupparis went upstairs and found the twins bleeding and a fox at the end of Lola's cot.

The couple said the animal stood its ground and only ran off when Mr Koupparis threw something at it as he held Isabella in his arms, blood seeping through her sleepsuit.

He then called 999 and said he had to keep repeating that a fox had attacked his children because the emergency services operator could not believe what he was saying.

The twins were badly injured and the couple said they were warned this week that the scars may be permanent.

Isabella suffered terrible arm injuries, the extent of which was only apparent when her clothing was removed.

Ms Koupparis said: "Her arm was open and bits of her flesh were literally like just dropping on to Nick's leg.

"It looked like it had been through a cheese grater."

Lola's face was bitten and her eyelid badly torn.

The girls were taken to the Royal London Hospital. Plastic surgeons warned they needed urgent treatment.

Lola was discharged from hospital, six days after the attack. Ms Koupparis said: "Obviously Lola came home first and it was incredible. But at the same time I was thinking, 'well I just want them both' and I was sort of thinking to myself 'what would I do if there was only one twin that came home and how could I ever deal with that as a mother?"'

Six days later, Isabella went home. The twins are undergoing a course of rabies injections. On Tuesday their parents were told Isabella will need to see specialists until her late teens.

In the two weeks following the attack, six foxes were trapped in the family's garden and humanely killed but the couple said they were not prepared for the reaction. Ms Koupparis said: "We had a police guard on the front door 24/7 for about three or four days and a panic alarm installed in the house because there were lots of things on websites and the tyres had been slashed on the side of the street, and they were just concerned that it could potentially be animal activists."

Irish Independent

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