A Penticton family whose nine-month-old baby was bitten by their dog said their child is doing extremely well following a five-hour surgery.
“He is a superhero in my mind,” said mom Amber Cissell. “He is doing so well. We were discharged and came home on Monday. He is so strong and it is truly phenomenal and unbelievable how fast he is recovering.”
Cissell said she was watching a movie with her seven-year old son, baby Kade and husband on May 31 when she got up to grab her drink from the kitchen table.
“It happened in a split second. I actually heard the growl when I got to my table and my husband jumped over my other son right away. We were all there within three feet of each other. It was my worst nightmare,” said Cissell. “I really do believe my dog knew what he did was not right, he let go instantly. Kade is so tiny that it wouldn’t have taken much force for him to do more to injure him, but he let go.”
Having worked in the oil field for a long period of time, Cissell’s First Aid training took over from her shock of what happened.
“I ended up stopping the bleeding before we even got to the hospital. As we sat in the emergency room, we kept hearing that all you have is a pop can size amount of blood when it comes to a infant that size,” said Cissell.
Kade was transported from the Penticton hospital to the airport where he and mom were then taken to the BC Children’s Hospital. He was rushed to the operating room and was in surgery for almost five hours. The optical bone on his right eye and nose were shattered and required extensive repair. Cissell said he also required somewhere between 150 to 200 stitches.
A family member immediately set up a GoFundMe account that is still active, to help the family with costs of travelling. Cissell explained she a stay-at-home mom and the family depends on her husband’s paycheque to live off of. He has already missed two weeks of work, making “a huge impact on their lives.”
She said they made the decision to put down their family dog, her seven-year old son’s “best friend.” The seven-year old is also recovering from having watched the incident happen, making it tough for him to deal with as well.
“I would never wish a horrible tragedy like this on my worst enemy. I told my son, because it was very hard for him to see this all happen, that because everyone is surrounding us with so much love that Kade is still with us and doing so amazingly. The relationship my two sons have, and how much love they have for each other is unbelievable,” said Cissell.
She said she was shocked to learn that the GoFundMe campaign spread around the community so quickly.
“I can’t say enough. It has been overwhelming to see the support versus the negativity. We also received the best care in Vancouver that we could possibly be given. Friends and family support has been amazing, my best friend did some of her own perusal fundraising to help us. As well the support of the general community, teachers, PAC members, other parents — it is unreal and I cannot say thank you enough,” said Cissell.
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