A brave boy was attacked by his neighbour’s dog after he offered them a cupcake from a gender reveal party.
In March 2021, Tara Stone, from the US state of Missouri, hosted a small gender reveal party for her pregnant sister Julia Poland and their immediate family.
After several hours, Ms Poland returned to the home with cupcakes in tow and her 13-year-old son Noah.
The young teen decided it would be nice to take a cupcake to his friend who lived next door and returned a few minutes later to get more for his neighbour's mum.
However as he entered the neighbour's front garden, the neighbour's dog broke loose from its chain and launched itself at Noah.
Within seconds, Ms Poland, Noah's stepdad and the dog’s owner all arrived at the scene and were able to pull the dog away from the teen. However, the dog managed to break loose again and launched a second attack.
Noah was quickly carried inside the house where Ms Poland delivered first aid alongside her neighbour as the duo shared medical experience.
A short while later, paramedics arrived to airlift Noah to a children’s hospital in Saint Louis – 90 minutes away.
Noah's harrowing question after dog attack
Ms Stone drove her sister to the hospital where they briefly saw Noah – his head wrapped in a bandage and blood covering the floor – before he was whisked away for surgery.
Scared about what was happening, Noah asked, ‘Am I going to die?’, but was comforted by Ms Stone and
his mum who assured him that everything would be ok.
Doctors revealed that Noah’s throat, arteries, and voice box were exposed during the attack and tissue, skin, and muscle were pulled from his face.
The dog also ripped out Noah’s spit gland and fractured his jaw.
Since the attack, Noah has undergone four surgeries to clean and stabilise the area, to re-map the nerves and arteries, and to begin reconstructing his face using a skin graft and muscle tissue from his thigh, and nerves from his leg.
The reconstruction isn’t yet complete and doctors are uncertain as to if Noah will ever regain feeling in the right side of his face or mouth.
It will take Noah approximately six to eight months to recover from his initial treatment before he’s ready to undergo further operations.
Whilst he recovers, fluid must be drained from his face every two hours and his calorie intake must also be monitored. Noah’s house must be kept above 23 degrees to help maintain his blood flow and whilst he’s able to walk, plenty of rest is needed to aid his healing.
Community rallies around boy
Thankfully, the family have had the support of their local community which has been invaluable, but they’ve also found an outpouring of support online.
Wanting to do everything she could to help her sister and nephew, Ms Stone set up a GoFundMe campaign which has so far raised $48,000 to aid Noah’s recovery.
“My sister was at my house for a small gender reveal party. We grilled, enjoyed some cupcakes, and celebrated my sister and her future baby boy joining our family,” Ms Stone said.
“When Julia got home, she was unloading the car with my nephew Noah who wanted to give the neighbour’s daughter a cupcake.
“He came back to grab a few more for her parents but when he returned to the neighbour’s house, their dog broke loose from his chain outside and attacked Noah."
Having only been home a week, Noah is still processing life since the incident but he’s in good spirits and is grateful for all the support he’s received.
The family received news shortly after the accident to confirm that the dog had been euthanised.
“The way the community has responded with love, gratitude and encouragement has been a beautiful thing,” Ms Stone said.
“It doesn’t replace the heartache but it really has brought some level of comfort during this extremely difficult time.
“No family expects tragedy to strike until it happens to them but my sister has been one of the strongest people I know throughout this."
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