Recovery from Dog Attack
On September 9th, my 8-year old daughter Isabelle was viciously attacked by two pit bulls. If not for the bravery and courage of two neighbors, her situation could have been far, far worse.
As it is, she had to have reconstruction of her entire right ear; her parotid gland which includes several nerves controlling facial muscles, was lacerated from bites. She has over 30 stitches in just that area alone, and there is a strong possibility that she may experience permanent paralysis in part of her face (at this time, she cannot feel anything from the middle of her cheek over to her ear, and cannot smile on that side of her face).
In addition, she has numerous other lacerations, scratches, bruises, abrasions, and major swelling of her entire neck and face making it impossible to move her head around for quite some time, as well as far too many more stitches to count (last attempt was close to 80). Two of her front teeth were also knocked loose.
We are looking at having to visit specialists in Houston for further care and surgeries in order to repair the nerve damage and hopefully retain movement and feeling of the right side of her face.
Throughout it all, she has remained impressively strong. Isabelle has always been an inspiration to me - so creative and artistic, she has always had such an innocent enthusiasm and love for life, and always a big smile on her face. To see her so depressingly sad and unable to even smile fully is devastatingly heartbreaking.
When this first happened, I had several people offer to send me checks - I very politely thanked them and declined. She does have basic insurance that covered her emergency hospital stay.
However, after speaking with her surgeon and gaining a greater understanding of the extensive recovery and reconstructive procedures she may need, I realize the great extent of the cost of the surgeries, for the travel, time off from my work, and so on - expenses will add up extremely quickly.
I am eternally grateful for our two neighbors that saved my daughter's life. The outpouring of great love and concern from our community swells my heart. So many people have brought balloons, cards, gifts, flowers and food. I am overwhelmed at the big hearts of everyone, and simply cannot thank you all enough.
If you can help with the future expenses for Isabelle, or even if you can send just a card of support for her (she LOVES receiving all the cards and reads each and every one over and over!): Thank You.
Thank you for bringing even a half smile to Isabelle's face, and for making a bright spot in the middle of this tragedy and recovery. You are all angels.
Cards may be sent to:
c/o Katherine Clay
444 CR 8113
Nacogdoches, TX 75964
Still waiting on appointments with the doctor in Houston. We should hear something on Monday, I was told.
Her bruising is almost completely gone now, as is the swelling. Lacerations are healing well, and she still has some stitches in her ear.
Unfortunately, no progress on the facial nerve. She can't close her right eye on her own, nor smile on that side. I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness every time she smiles...which just feels awful. I'm so glad for her smiles - so grateful she is *here* to smile - but it's heartbreaking to see only half her face light up. Every time she smiles I hope to see a change...
We saw Isabelle's surgeon today. He removed most of the stitches, but not all - he left some in her ear to continue healing. He's not at all happy with the lack of progress regarding her right side facial muscles, so we have calls in to specialists for appointments to see how they can help.
Unfortunately, as is usually the case, insurance is being difficult. Since Isabelle has such basic insurance as it is, her PCP said they're already giving her difficulties on everything... but she's going to do everything she can to get approvals on the referrals.
Her eye doctor said this morning that the abrasion looks like it's healing well, and to keep on with the eye drops (much to Isabelle's dismay).
Isabelle is still hanging in there, but she had a really rough time handling the removal of the stitches. (To be honest, I'm surprised I held up through it as well as I did.)
Other than that though, she's got some energy back which is so nice to see. Even if she *is* using some of it to fight with her siblings... that's OK, I'll take what I can get!
We're hoping to have appointments with the specialists by the end of this week, or beginning of next. The surgeon doesn't want a long delay on getting it repaired.
We've received more cards and all I can say is Thank you!! (Are you tired of my thanks yet?? Tough ;-) There's plenty more where that came from!) They just perk her up so darn much. :) She even received another bouquet of flowers today, and a teddy bear with balloons and chocolates. I'm still amazed.
Thank you <3
c/o Katherine Clay
444 CR 8113
Nacogdoches, TX 75964
The bacterial infection in her eye is much better already, as is the infection that was in her facial/ear stitches. Thank goodness!
She was even feeling good enough yesterday, she was teasing her siblings, and was up and about for slightly longer periods.
We see the surgeon again tomorrow, and at that point we will discuss our options regarding her facial paralysis. I miss my sweet Isabelle's big full smile, though she is and always will be just as beautiful as ever.
Thank you all for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.
Yesterday, Isabelle was complaining that her eye was hurting badly, so at the doctor's we discovered that she has a bacterial infection in her right eye from a previously unknown abrasion. She was given antibacterial eyedrops, as well as placed on another major antibiotic to help fight the infection she is currently having on her right ear/face. She's still hanging in there, though the eyedrops are a big ordeal. She just doesn't like that part at all.
She's going to need a lot of probiotics/gut healing after all these meds!
As requested, we have created a "wish list" of items that we are in need of. Please note that on many of these items, hand me downs are perfectly wonderful!
* Yogurt (cherry or other flavors)
* Juice - frozen ok, she prefers grape
* Plastic ziploc baggies, any size
* Sterile Gauze Pads
* Manila Envelopes
* Sticky Tack (for hanging all her cards up!)
* A new pretty pink party dress (her favorite dress had to be cut off of her in the ambulance), size 10
* Gift cards to The Granary/Morning Glory/Kroger/Walmart
* New set of full size sheets and pillow case (hers have become stained from blood)
* Thieves EO
* Vitamin E oil for scarring
* Any cards, trinkets, or playdates for her siblings, especially the two younger ones (boys ages 6 and 3) - they've been feeling very neglected, as happens during times like this. They're very concerned for her well-being, but they are still just young children who need attention as well :-) Her older siblings understand much easier, of course.
Again, I simply cannot thank you all enough. Please keep praying in whatever form you do - we are so grateful. <3
First of all, sorry about your daughter and God speed recovery to her. Second of all, bad dogs aren't born, they are made. The owners of the dogs are to blame for negligence. There are countless dog attacks and attacking one breed for it with bad publicity is wrong. Most American Pit Bulls are not like this and I have worked in a dog resort with this breed being one of the most loyal and gentle. Again, like bad parenting can make bad kids, same applies to bad parenting of your "other" type of kids- your pets. Those who cannot control their pets should not own them.
The myth, " its how they are raised" is simply that. 1) Since pit pushers from dog recycle organizations are so over whelmed with this breed, staff and/or former owners often do not disclose the history of the dog to unknowing buyers. Come home with a recycled pit- you pretty much don't know how it was raised. Next myth buster is the fact that a huge percentage of attacks are perpetuated by the family dog that was raised in the home. Both facts cancel out" the how it was raised" doctrine.
I hope Diana Magiera's pit(s) never go psycho on her child. Her comment is wrong on so many levels. First, as someone pointed out, this is dedicated to the child victim. Take your pit apologist theology to another site. Second, there are NO EXCUSES for a dog ever attacking a human, especially a child. A "pet" by definition is an animal that has adapted to a human environment. Pits have statistically proven over and over that they do not qualify. As any actuary in the homeowners insurance business well knows. Their policies are based on cold hard facts not sentiment or pit martyrdom. Third, analogies between dogs and children are simply not relevant. Tip: A dog is ANOTHER SPECIES. Comparing dogs to children is a common dog cultist error in reasoning and not grounded in reality. Shame on Diana Magiera
Please continue to share your story. I know the pro-pit people can make that very difficult, but so many innocent people, many children, are being mauled and killed by PITS more than any other breed. So don't worry one bit about offending those pro-pit people. If your story saves even one person, it was worth sharing again and again. Your daughter is beautiful and I hope she is continuing to recover.
Diane Magiera, how vulgar of you. I pray that Isabelle will make a complete recovery. She is a beautiful little girl and I am so sorry that this happened to her. Please keep us posted on her progress, will you?
I can't believe someone would come on this page to post a pro-pit sentiment. This page is about a little girl and paying for her devastating injuries. Period.
I am so sorry for Isabelle's traumatic encounter with those vicious dogs! My prayer, God speed emotional, spiritual, mental, as well as, her physical healing !
You mentioned probiotics… if you need some kefir grains, I have plenty to share
We are praying for your daughter, and you as well!