ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – The 7-year-old St. George girl whose nose was bitten off by a dog earlier this month has undergone surgery at the University of Utah.
“The patient’s been very brave throughout the whole process. She likes to be a part of her pre-operative planning as much as she can. She wants to know all the details, as far as taking care of the dressings and everything,” said Dr. Eric Cerrati, a Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon at the University of Utah.
Doctor Cerrati used parts of Grace’s rib and forehead skin to begin rebuilding her nose.
“We reconstruct it with rib cartilage, rather than ear. Ear cartilage doesn’t really grow as a child grows, but rib cartridge tends to grow as a child ages,” said Cerrati.
Grace is home now in St. George recovering, but before her surgery News4Utah caught up with Grace and her mom Destiny Mampel.
Destiny worries about her daughters future, understanding things have changed.
“I just want parents to educate their children on … bullying, because she is going to have scarring. She is going to have lots of scars now, and like not to make fun of children that do or look different,” said Destiny.
“It’s going to take several surgeries over several months in order to get that good cosmetic result, but we’re on the right track and I think we’ll get there,” said Cerrati.
Dr. Cerrati said Grace has been unusually mature throughout the process.
“At 7 years old I explained everything to the parents obviously, but also to her because I think she does understand what’s going on,” said Cerrati.
Her grandma said Grace has offered understanding to the animal who wouldn’t let go of her nose after Grace tried to pet it.
“Maybe he just wanted to play, I don’t know, maybe he just wanted to chase me or something like our dog does,” said Grace.
The dog’s owner was served vicious animal notice. If the owner chooses not the argue the charge, the dog will be humanely euthanized at an area vet.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Grace’s family with medical expenses. You can find that here.