On Friday, April 2, our sweet 13-year-old nephew, Jack, found out from a small gender reveal that he is going to be a big brother to a baby boy. There were extra cupcakes from the gathering, and he brought them over to share with his neighbors. While there, the neighbor’s dog mauled his face and throat. The extent of Jack’s injuries required him to be airlifted to Children's Hospital in Saint Louis.
Warning: the following content is graphic. Jack suffered extreme injuries during the dog attack. His throat, arteries and voice box were exposed; tissue, skin and muscle is missing from his face. The dog ripped out Jack’s parotid gland (spit gland) and fractured his jaw. Doctors are uncertain if Jack will regain feeling in the right side of his face or his mouth, and additional surgeries will be required to regain muscle movement on that side.
He is in Children’s ICU undergoing extensive medical treatment and will be for the foreseeable future. Jack’s already been through two surgeries and has another scheduled this week. The early surgeries are focused on cleaning and stabilizing the areas impacted by the attack, and mapping the nerves and arteries in his face. Reconstruction will require extensive additional surgeries. Jack lost so much muscle from the right side of his face from the attack that the doctors will have to graft skin and tissue from his thigh to reconstruct his face.
His road to recovery is long and will require multiple surgeries and comprehensive medical care, including nerve and facial specialists, and a reconstruction team. The medical team said to expect at least a month's stay in the hospital and to plan for additional surgeries after he is released.
As you can imagine, our family is reeling from this tragedy. Many have asked how they can help my sister Julia and Jack moving forward. Julia will be unable to work while she's in STL helping Jack recover. My goal is for my sister to be able to focus on her son's healing instead of worrying about financial strain. Funds will go towards lodging, food, travel back and forth to STL (as younger sister Haley is staying with family in Rolla), and any bills or unexpected expenses she has while she's out of work.
Anyone who knows Jack, knows he has an incredibly kind, gentle heart. He would do anything for anyone, and there are no words to express our heartbreak.
If you are unable to donate, simply sharing this fundraiser or keeping him in your prayers is greatly appreciated.