‘I just want my old face back.’ Shriners helping Idaho boy after dog attack

Shriners helping Idaho boy after dog attack

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - A mother and son from Idaho are at Cincinnati Shriners Hospital hoping to get help after the 4-year-old boy was attacked by a dog.

Austin said the dog “bit his face off."

His mother, Lacey Stewart, said the attack happened on Superbowl Sunday, Feb. 2, as Austin and his father were walking into a friends party.

"He walked in the door and the dog saw him and just - he wasn’t a familiar face, so the dog went and attacked him,” said Stewart.

Austin said his dad tried to stop the attack.

"My dad just punched the dog in the face and it just bit my face off,” he said.

His mom said the dog latched on to his face and would not let go. Austin’s dad had to repeatedly pry the dogs mouth open.

"For the longest time, he couldn’t even see his face, he didn’t want to see his face,” Stewart said.

Nickie Benjamin, who lives in Brown County, reached out to Stewart on Facebook. She said a year ago, a pit bull had ripped her son’s lip off.

“He’s doing great,” she said. “We just finished his last surgery in June. We hope it’s his last surgery. It’s the same doctor, Dr. Scott Rapp, who’s doing Austin’s surgery," she said. “I just told her what Shriners could do for her, because I know I felt lost and I felt hopeless when I couldn’t afford a plastic surgeon to help my son. The day after Cooper had his surgery, his self-esteem went through the roof."

Shriners flew Stewart and Austin in for their first appointment Friday, but they have work to do before Austin can have surgery.

"I have to rub it, he said 10 times a day for about three months to break-up that scar tissue,” Stewart said.

Austin Stewart
Austin Stewart

Austin and his mom go back to Idaho Saturday morning and then return back to Shriners in a few months where he will undergo laser and traditional surgeries.

Austin hopes, like so many of the other miracle children who have been helped there, including Cooper, that he leaves Shriners Hospital looking good as new.

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