Scarred Forever

7:49 PM
As I sat in training last week, I tried my hardest to distract the class from the annoying vibration coming from my phone. I thought for sure the caller would get the picture. They didn't and my phone continued to rattle on the table for 3 minutes straight. Finally, I answered.

On the other end I could hear a voice. Not quite shaken, not quite calm. I immediately went into panic mode and my heart begin to race.

"Mariah got bit."

Okay, I can handle that.

"She was bit by a Pitbull. We're at the hospital now. She is going into surgery in a bit, so we'll keep you updated."

Without hesitation, the questions begin to pour from my mouth.

"Is she okay?"
"How bad is it?"
"How did this happen?"
"How are you doing?"
"How long have you been at the hospital?"
"Is she okay?" "Is she okay?" ..."Is she okay?"

The rest is kind of blurry.

I remember leaving my job's headquarters and driving with a blank stare. The radio was on, but I didn't hear a word. The sun was beaming, but I felt cold. The light turned green, but I sat there...until someone blew the horn.

I was more than an hour away from the hospital, there was not much I could do. Rush hour was at a peak, and I had to make it home to take Kaden to soccer practice. My hopes of making it before the 8:00 PM deadline were cut short. I would have to be updated through text messages, shortened phone conversations, and pictures.

These are the pictures that made it through (some are a bit graphic):

Can you imagine receiving these pictures and not being able to console this precious, little baby? I was in shock. I didn't know if it looked worse than it really appeared, but I was confident Mariah was traumatized in every way imaginable.

This is how she looked after surgery:

She is one tough cookie. I shudder at the thought of having my face stitched. She is brave, and I aspire to be like her.

Upon visiting Mariah at home, I faced a bit of reluctance. As I stood at the front door of her house, I could hear her adorable voice shouting, "It's Kea! It's Kea!" I was excited and scared at the same time. I did not know how she would look, but I did not want to make her feel uncomfortable either.

The door opened. And there she was, all decked in a Dora the Explorer costume/pajama get-up. It was like Christmas had come early. Toys and balloons were strewn everywhere as acknowledgment  for her 'job well done' before, during, and after this horrific experience. It didn't help that I added to the mayhem by bringing a bag of goodies for her. She deserved it all...if not more. (Sidenote: Even toy purchases are affected by this tragedy. I picked-up an adorable stuffed animal for her. It was a dog. Not a good idea.)

I hugged her. I tried kissing her, but it was awkward finding a spot on her cheeks that would seem comfortable, to both her and I. I was amazed by her spirit. The same, ole Mariah - big smile, high energy, and lots of love. My heart fell back into its place. I could breathe easily.

Minutes before leaving, I was able to capture her in action. I could not get over how 'normal' she acted. I think I was in more distress than she was. I was for sure she would fall and hurt herself again. I was on edge. I feel it's important to talk about what happened to her. I want her to be able to communicate her feelings. Take a look at her in action:

I'm sure everyone has an opinion on this situation. I still don't know what to make of it all. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is how courageous children are. Mariah was physically attacked by an animal that is known as man's best friend (maybe not this particular breed). Her face is scarred forever. And while we always want to teach children that "beauty is only skin-deep", it is obvious that her face has been altered. Her (real) mom told me that the first time Mariah saw her face she said, "Mommy, take this thing off my face." My heart sank.

No one will ever know how she will recover from this accident. She may have bounced back to her child-like antics, but what happens when the nightmares begin, she sees a dog, or someone asks her about her face? No one has the answers, but I will do all I can to be right there for her when she is faced with any of these situations.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and kind thoughts. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.


  1. Wow. That's scary! She seems so resilient... what a tough, brave little girl. And lucky - for so many reasons.

  2. What a touching post. I am so happy that she is ok! What a sweet baby girl Mariah is! So full of courage!

  3. That just breaks my heart but like Emily said, she seems so resilient.

  4. children are so very resilient and are sometimes braver than their adult counterparts. she is still beautiful.

  5. I'm so glad to hear that she is okay. What brave tough little cookie. I hope she recovers well. From the look of the vid, she is well on her way.

  6. HOLY SHIT. Man, keonte, her poor little face and she will have a fear of dogs forever.

    I just really feel for her.


  7. Thankfully she came out much better than a lot of pit bull attacks. I know that each dog should be judged differently but I am not a fan of this breed in general and could never in good faith have one around my kids. There are such good scar creams and such these days I hope that they will be able to minimize the damage for her; nevertheless, I am sure she will continue to be just as beautiful. Children are so resilient, much better than we as adults. God bless...

  8. First off I have to say that she is just beautiful!!! I'm sure it was very scary! I can't imagine what I would do or how I would feel. I am so glad that she is ok and has bounced back. I will continue to keep her in my prayers. Thanks for the update, I was just thinking about her yesterday.

  9. She's so brave! As a kid I was cornered by a dog and I was afraid of them for a long time. She may be too, but with the love and support that is so evident from her family, I think she'll be just fine after it's all said and done.

  10. Thanks everyone for your support. I'll be sure to tell Mariah everyone thinks she is so brave. With her personality, she may want to jump off of something even higher once I tell her this. She is beautiful inside and out.

  11. She is so beautiful, and this happened young enough that I believe her scars will barely be noticeable when she's older. She will probably be afraid of dogs, but my sister had a friend who also was bit who eventually had dogs for pets and learned to not be afraid.

    She looks so good, I love the action video. So much like my daughter (she has that same Dora outfit too) *hugs* honey

  12. OMG! I am so sorry! I hope they get that dog and put him away. Another child does not need to have this happen. Best of luck!


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