LANCASTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lancaster woman is still in disbelief after a giant rabid raccoon attacked her in her own yard — while she was hanging her Christmas lights.

“I really thought I was going to die,” said Donna Sanginario.

Sanginario said she was putting the lights up when a 40-pound racoon decided to crash her holiday cheer, leaping at her and latching onto her arms with its jaws.

“It looked at me and started jumping up at me, so I put my hand over my face … we were both screaming so loud it was unbelievable,” Sanginario said. “He wouldn’t let go for anything, he just attached … I got this big thing over my head, I was like ‘Someone help me!'”

But it took five minutes of struggling before the racoon ran off and Sanginario went to the hospital with broken ribs. She also needed a series of shots, including tetanus, because the racoon was rabid, she said.

But despite her wounds, Sanginario eventually got her lights up. And next time she goes out in her yard, she’ll be prepared.

“I will always out here have a bat or something from now on,” Sanginario said.

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