September 26, 2008 in City

Kyra Wine recovering at grandparents’ house

Girl, 3, was hospitalized for months after abuse
By Ralph Bartholdt St. Maries Gazette Record
 

Kyra Wine will be fitted with prosthetics in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the 3-year-old must learn to put weight on her stubs.

“That’s what they call them,” said her grandmother, Deanna Wine, an emergency medical technician and head of the ambulance service in St. Maries.

The “stubs” are what remain after surgeons at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Medical Center amputated most of her feet in June to remove dead flesh, which authorities say Kyra suffered as a result of abuse inflicted by her mother and mother’s boyfriend at their Hells Gulch home.

In her grandparents’ St. Maries home, Kyra and her sister play ball, read books, watch TV and, in typical sibling fashion, argue over who owns what.

“That’s mine,” Kyra says when her sister flips open a pink Dora the Explorer toy telephone.

Kyra and her sister, Amanda, were rescued by police June 17 from the rural home where they lived with their mother, Christina Haynes, and her boyfriend, Charles Smith.

Police were told the girls might be in danger and that Haynes and Smith would not let neighbors visit the children.

When county deputies made a welfare check, they found Kyra with bruises on her body and head. She was missing patches of hair and had dead flesh on her hands and feet.

Her sister, they said, appeared unharmed.

Haynes, 26, and Smith, 29, are charged with abusing Kyra.

Three months and at least two surgeries later, Kyra wears webbing like a hood to keep bandages on her head in place. Long socks cover her feet, where only part of her heels remain.

The two girls are adjusting to a new life at their grandparents’ home. Amanda is in first grade at Heyburn Elementary School, and Kyra will attend preschool this fall.

Deanna Wine, who has been at her granddaughter’s side throughout her hospitalization, said Kyra has grown accustomed to having her grandmother nearby.

When she has to leave to go to work, it’s difficult. “There are some separation issues,” she said. “It’s getting better day by day.”

Amanda undergoes counseling, which helps her cope with the events that led to her sister’s condition, and she is adjusting well at school.

Kyra’s healing will take longer. For now, while Deanna and George Wine await reconstructive surgery, physical therapy and being fitted for prosthetic feet, Kyra is content playing on her grandfather’s lap, watching television and chasing her sister across the floor.

“She’s very mobile and very vocal,” Deanna Wine said.

The girl was released from the hospital earlier this month. When she and her sister moved into their grandparents’ home, Kyra showed apprehension around her grandfather.

“It will take a while for her to realize this is a safe place,” George Wine said.

She still fears crowds and has lost her sense of adventure, her grandmother said.

“She used to be a lot braver and bolder,” she said.

When her grandmother shows photos from the surgery, the girls rush over, asking questions.

Kyra crawls and stands in front of the couch on her knees. “Let me see,” she says.

The pictures show the stubs. They were shaped so Kyra’s new feet will fit snugly against the remaining heels.

When it’s time for a snack and drink she asks her sister to carry her. She returns to her grandfather’s lap with a sippy cup. She digs through pockets and asks questions.

The Wines know that the child’s experiences have left more than physical scars.

“She’ll never be the same girl she was,” George Wine said.

But, her grandmother adds, “There is still a lot of Kyra in there.”


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email