Lend A Hand

This morning before work, I heard a story on the news about Amaya Hess, an Indianapolis toddler who was mauled by a pit bull earlier this year. It’s just so terrible and unfair. In the coming years, her family will have to pay for dozens of surgeries, not to speak of the emotional dues. Luckily I found a place to donate online. (JayDub donated as well – yay!) I’m sure every little bit helps. There are also several benefits coming up in December, if you’re interested in participating.

This recent Indianapolis Star piece about the story is so moving. Her Mom’s account is heart-breaking. The two details that especially stood out to me:

  • About her Mom: Early on, she woke up screaming from vivid nightmares, reliving the attack. Prescription medication and time helped make those go away. For a while, she had dreams of Amaya coming to her and asking: “Would you want to live the rest of your life looking like this? Why did you save me?”
  • About a passerby who saved her life: Her mother was screaming for help holding her when a man named Jerry Ashlock, driving down the road, heard the screams and stopped to help. When he got to Amaya, she was not breathing. Having been trained in basic life-saving techniques in the military, he began to perform CPR and was able to revive her.

Apparently he resuscitated her THREE TIMES before the paramedics arrived. What a wonderful, amazing thing to do. It’s incredible that he happened to be driving by and happened to be trained in CPR.

Reading Amaya’s story reminded me of my family’s experience, from which I learned that even “average” pets can be violent. A few years ago, I was hanging out with my brother, Cory and his wife at their house on New Year’s Eve. One of their Springer Spaniels, Oliver, was snuggled up on Cory’s wife’s lap as she sat reclined in a comfy chair. My brother stood up to grab something and then leaned over to kiss his wife. For some reason, that set off Oliver. He lunged upward and bit off my brother’s upper lip and septum in one vicious snap. Oliver had shown a bit of aggression before, but nothing that severe. I cannot begin to describe what that night was like. Cory was fortunate in that there happened to be a plastic surgeon on call at the emergency room we went to. Today he has a noticeable scar on his nose and lip, which he keeps hidden with a mustache.

For more info, check out the Humane Society’s resources about preventing and avoiding dog bites.

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