Pittsburg, CA - On August 3rd, 6-year old Delaney Williams was mauled by a pit bull. Her family -- her mother Donna, Dad and sister Caitlin -- had been out for a walk that day. They briefly stopped at the corner store. A woman came by with two pit bulls and the girls asked if they could pet the dogs. The woman said it was okay to pet the female, but not the male, she was not sure if it would bite.
As soon as the dog owner said "bite" that's exactly what the pit bull did. The male dog lunged and latched onto Delaney's face. Donna managed to pull her daughter out of the dog's mouth. She said, "We are very, very lucky that the dog's bottom jaw did not get under Delaney's bottom jaw, because when I pulled her out of his mouth, I would have pulled her whole bottom jaw out, which the nurse told me would have been a horrific scene."
Delaney was airlifted to Children's Hospital Oakland. Doctors decided the best course of action was plastic surgery to repair her wounds. After an attempt to sew her lip back to her mouth failed, she was scheduled later that month for a skin graft in which skin was taken from her belly and sewn to her face. Delaney was released from the hospital two days later, then the psychological effects began to set in. Donna had difficulty tending to her daughter.
Donna told reporters, "It was to the point where we had to call in an in-home nurse to help us out because I got to the point where I couldn't be in the room. You hear about these attacks on TV, and you can't imagine what that family is going through unless you've been through an experience like that. I guess I'm still tore up about it inside." She added, "When (Delaney) came home the first two days, she just laid in bed and did nothing.
Soon though, Delaney bounced back. Just a few months later and Delaney is already being a "daredevil." Outside, Delaney constantly runs around and jumps off things, does cartwheels, and tumbles around her front lawn. Inside her home, she frequently climbs on a small table next to an entertainment center and jumps it onto a couch. Her mother tries to discourage her, but that's just Delaney being Delaney, Donna said.
Delaney is scheduled for another surgery in January, and a "balloon" procedure (tissue expansion) to stretch out the skin on her face. Donna said the family is still suffering from emotional trauma, especially 8-year-old sister Caitlin, who has struggled with the images of her sister in the grasp of a dog's mouth. "Caitlin was standing there when it happened, and her reply was 'your dog's killing my sister' and that's all she keeps repeating every once in awhile."
The whole family is currently undergoing counseling.
Donna, herself, was attacked by a pit bull that broke her wrist when she was 10. She said she hopes the attack doesn't linger with Delaney the same way her attack did. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case. Delaney warms up to people very quickly, and animals even quicker. She's friends with a few dogs in the neighborhood, and the proud owner of a hamster, "Smokey," a rat, "Touille," a cat, "Lovers," and Shitzu "Gracie."
Because of Delaney's scars, doctors advised her parents to home school their daughter this year to avoid Delaney being made fun of. Her parents are following this advice.
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