Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Indianapolis girl prepares for 57th surgery since 2006 Pit Bull attack

By Vanessa McClure, from WSBT

Amaya Hess will undergo her 57th surgery Thursday to reconstruct her face after a Pit Bull attacked her in 2006

Amaya Hess does most things any 7-year-old girl does. She loves Justin Bieber, playing with friends and swimming in her grandmother's pool.

"Amaya is great.  If you couldn't see a facial deformity you'd think she was a normal 7-year-old," said her mother Bobbie Tomlin.

There's something normal for Amaya that a lot of 7-year-olds don't go through: surgery.

Amaya will go in for her 57th surgery Thursday to continue reconstructing her face following a violent dog attack.

In 2006, Tomlin was walking Amaya to the park in a stroller when a pit bull got loose from a neighbor's home and grabbed Amaya from her stroller. The dog tore apart Amaya's ear, eye, nose and ripped off her scalp. The two-year-old spent nearly three months in a coma.

Now, Amaya's face will change again with an eye operation and her mother said this surgery is special.

"Basically pulling the eyelid back up off the eye so she has the opportunity to regain her vision after five years. It's huge. It's the one and only that she has asked for. She wants it and she's super excited to get it," Tomlin said.

Amaya said she wanted to get her eye repaired more than the surgery she was originally supposed to get, which would have reconstructed her ear.

Tomlin said she's not angry anymore about the attack that changed their lives forever. She said she is still terrified of dogs and will not take Amaya to parks or neighborhoods where dogs aren't on leashes.

"Our life changed and I can't say I would change it back. I've learned a lot. I've earned that at two years old, my daughter could have been taken away from me and I could have never had her back and I fought for her and she's still here and she puts a smile on my face every day," Tomlin said.

A website has been set up for updates about Amaya's recovery and information about how to donate to help with her medical bills. visit Amayahess.org .


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