— It's been two weeks since the accident in our studio, when 9NEWS morning anchor Kyle Dyer was injured by a dog on live TV. Since then, the dog has been returned to his owner.
For two weeks, Kyle wasn't physically able to talk after her series of reconstructive surgeries, but she can now.
"I'm doing good," she told her fellow anchor Gary Shapiro. "Not talking was so difficult for me, but I've become a very fast writer."
Kyle was interviewing Max, an 85-pound Argentine Mastiff, his owner Michael Robinson, and a firefighter, who had rescued Max from an icy pond the day before when Max bit Kyle, significantly damaging her face and lip.
"I didn't realize the extent of the injury. I knew it was bad when my lips didn't touch anymore," she said.
"I put my hand like this," Kyle said touching her face. "I realized all the blood — the top part of my lip here was gone."
"First thing I think is, 'I'm bleeding and it had to be live on TV.' Then I thought, 'I got to call my mom before one of her bridge friends calls her,'" she said.
After four hours of surgery at Denver Health Medical Center, 70 stitches and a skin graft, Kyle started her recovery.
Kyle says she didn't realize the extent of the injury for two days.
"I was so out of it. You and the viewers knew what was going on with me before I knew. It's just driving me crazy," she said. "The problem was the lip. I didn't have one. Plastic surgery also puts a face back together and that's what I needed.
Kyle had her second surgery on Monday. She was given 20 new stitches and had the 70 stitches that were initially put in on Feb. 8 removed.
"I'm so lucky, and it could have been worse. It was bad, but just think if it was my cheek or my nose or my eye or throat," she said. "I'm fortunate. I'm going to be fine."
Since the accident, Kyle has received hundreds of cards, letters, emails and social media well-wishes. The messages have come from students in class, her friends, people she's met and people she doesn't know.
"To write me these notes — so personal. Look, I'm starting to cry. To write such words of encouragement. They just know me from TV. They're just so wonderful, Gary. People are just so kind, loving, pick you up when you're down and I will be forever grateful," Kyle said. "I can't believe people took the time to go to the store, pick up a card and write me."
Not all the message were positive. Kyle knows many people were upset about what happened to Max.
Max was put into quarantine by Denver Animal Control after the bite. This is standard procedure to make sure the dog is not infected by rabies or a history of biting. After completing 10 days in mandatory quarantine, Max went home on Saturday.
"I'm glad the dog's back home with his family. I never wanted anything but. You know, it was an accident. And it just kind of all snowballed. And then all that followed. I'm doing better. The dog's back with its family, it's time to move on," Kyle said. "I have never blamed Max. I'm glad to be home too and want to move on and to heal."
That is what Kyle is doing. She is moving on and believes this story will have a happy ending.
"I don't know. Everybody was like, 'Weren't you freaking out?' And I'm like, No cause I just had a feeling, and I still do, that everything is going to be OK," she said. "I just put it in God's hands and I know he's taking care of me. And my family is so grateful that everything is going as well as it is."
The injury to Kyle's face may never completely heal.
"It may be six months, or never, to get feeling back," she said. "I just wake up every day, take my meds, put on lotion and sunscreen, have to for all this new skin, talk with my family and pray."
We don't know when Kyle will be back on the air. She'll spend a couple of months making her lip better and then come back stronger than ever.
"Right now, this is all I can do — a half smile. I'll smile again, maybe just a different smile," she said.