A 6-year-old girl was hospitalized following a dog attack so vicious that she required over 1,000 stitches from below her eyes to her throat.
First responders airlifted Maine resident Lily Norton to Boston Children’s Hospital after the attack. There, the small girl went through a grueling 12-hour surgery as doctors worked to repair her face and throat from the extensive wounds left behind by a pit bull attack.
“Her salivary glands aren’t working … and doctors said she won’t be able to smile again,” CJ Pitcher, a family friend, told The Sun Journal. “Muscles are too damaged.”
Following the surgery, the young girl remained sedated, as she required the help of a breathing tube. Her mom, Dorothy Norton, said that doctors advised her that Lily would remain in the intensive care unit for at least ten days to recover from the dog attack. “But other than that, she’s really good. She looks really good,” the shaken mother added.
Doctors have prevented Lily from looking at her face in the mirror, her mother said. “I wanted to cry but I could not because she was looking at me,” Norton told Inside Edition. Though heartbroken, Lily’s mother doesn’t place blame on anyone for the dog attack. “I could happen at any time,” she said.
Pit Bull Mix Behind the Brutal Attack Belonged to a Friend of a Friend, the Family Say
The 6-year-old, the mother explained, suffered the dog attack while at a friend’s house. The dog, however, did not belong to the family friend. Instead, they were pet sitting the reported “pit bull type” dog for another friend.
“They were going to play cards at the table, so she sat down at the table,” Norton explained. “The friend went and got the cards, and then as soon as the friend walked back in the room, she screamed to her mom because the dog had Lily in her mouth.”
According to Lily’s mother, she doesn’t “hate all dogs,” despite the gruesome attack. “[Lily is] so energetic. She loves to be outside, loves it. … She just doesn’t want to see that [dog] again,” Norton said.
Officer Dexter “Buzz” Bridges, the animal control officer for the small town of Chesterville, Maine, in which the family lives, said that the dog attack remains under investigation.
At Least 4 People the Victims of Recent Dog Attacks in the US
The 6-year-old is one of at least four people to have become the victim of a dog attack in the US in recent weeks. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a dog owner allegedly asked a 5-year-old girl if she wanted to pet their dog. As the girl reached for the animal, it attacked her. The owner fled the scene before the police’s arrival.
In San Antonio, Texas, an 81-year-old man died as a result of an attack by several dogs. According to reports, the dogs escaped their yard and charged the elderly man and his wife.
In Cordova, Tennessee, a 3-year-old boy nearly lost his life after his family dogs attacked him. His father now faces multiple criminal charges, including child endangerment.