The husband of the woman attacked on the Silver Comet Trail said she could be released from the hospital as early as this week, but trauma experts warn she likely faces a long recovery.
Tina Waddell, 42, was attacked as she jogged the trail in Paulding County last week. Nearly every bone in her face was broken.
"The swelling keeps going down. She was even laughing the other day a little," said her husband, Jim Waddell.
He also said she did not have to have her jaw wired shut, as was first expected.
Laura Garlow manages Wellstar Kennestone's Trauma Unit, where Tina Waddell was taken. She said when someone arrives with head and facial injuries, her staff must treat more than just the physical wounds. "The thing we have to be concerned of with injuries that are this type are the concerns for disfigurement and the patient's psychological injuries that they also have associated with how they were injured and what they look like today."
Garlow said Wellstar Kennestone offers trauma patients and their families a support group. "They have anxieties; they can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so our focus is to get in early to those patients and give them a mechanism where we can help them deal with those injuries."
Jim Waddell said he knows his wife's road to recovery is just beginning when she's released. "She's going to have to have after-care where she'll probably have to go to the doctor two times a week for about six weeks, but she's going to get back to the Tina we love."
Paulding County investigators do not have a motive in the attack. They're following up on several leads, but so far, no arrests.
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