Attacked by Her 'Grandparents' Pit Bull Last Year
Left, the most recent photo of Payton after many surgeries for her injuries.
Visiting Child Attacked archived
Boston, MA - In a stunning victory for medical science, doctors have nearly completely restored a little girl's face after a devastating pit bull attack left her disfigured. Just after Thanksgiving last year, Payton Bronish, then 2-years old, and her family were visiting her grandparents home near Mexico, Maine when a pit bull belonging to her grandparents suddenly attacked Payton's face. Her mother Emily Bronish was so frightened, fearing Payton was dead, she could barely look at her.
“I looked over and I saw that he had latched onto her face, and was throwing her back and forth like a toy. I couldn’t breathe. I got tunnel vision and all I could think was 9-1-1." - Emily Bronish, Payton's mother
The truly remarkable reconstruction surgeries first began at Central Maine Medical Center then continued at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). "I’d never seen an injury of this nature in a patient that young,” said Dr. Branko Bojovic, a plastic surgeon at MGH for Children and chief of plastic surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children. Bojovic amazingly reconstructed the tiny and unstable bones beneath Payton's eye then inserted a metal plate into her eye socket.
"Payton’s cheek was fractured so dramatically that the bone was pushing on her muscle, paralyzing the right side of her face. Her eye socket was destroyed, which ultimately would have caused her eye to sink down into her sinus cavity. Her condition was so unique, Bojovic said, he is in the process of writing up a case study on it.
Bojovic entered Payton’s face through a cut under her eye and reassembled the delicate material -- the bones of a child that young are spongy, and not fully stable -- and he inserted a metal plate into her eye socket. Within a week, Payton regained the movement in her face." - Boston Herald, November 25, 2016
In the 9-year history of DogsBite.org seeing disfiguring facial pit bull injuries in children, and the many amazing reconstruction and scar reduction surgeries by doctors, Payton's recovery may be the most miraculous. All too often facial features can never be fully repaired by surgeons, or even close to that, after a violent pit bull mauling. The damage is often irreversible because the pit bull ripped out and destroyed too many facial muscles, bones and tissue. We salute you Dr. Bojovic.
Her mother Emily responded in comments at the article, in part: "She has many more obstacles to come. Speech therapy. Possibility of skin graphing. More surgeries. The future is unclear."
10/10/16: Special Report: Level 1 Trauma Center Dog Bite Studies in All U.S. Geographical Regions Report Pit Bulls Highest Prevalence
07/02/14: Director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Talks 'Pit Bulls'