A five-year-old boy suffers cruel taunts and stares from strangers after a rottweiler attack left his face permanently disfigured, his distraught mother says.Ryder Wells was just 21 months old when two 7st rottweilers attacked him at a family friend’s house.
The toddler lost the whole of his right cheek, the bottom of his eyelid and 75% of his lip, while other injuries included crushed teeth, a broken arm and a puncture in his right lung. To date, he has had 50 surgeries to reconstruct his face.
Ryder’s mum, Brittany, a teaching assistant, has emotionally spoken out about the ways the attack has impacted their lives. She said: ‘In the beginning, it was horrible because even adults would stare.
‘For the first year, he had no face on one side because he had two unsuccessful skin grafts.
‘When we go to the park, there’s a child who points and screams “monster” at him before running away. Out shopping the other day someone shouted “ew” at him.
‘It’s hard and it breaks my heart as a parent that after everything he’s been through, people aren’t always nice over something he can’t help. But he is such a fighter, he doesn’t let anything hold him back.’
Brittany, of Granite Falls, North Carolina, said the attack in 2015 happened very quickly: ‘We were eating breakfast and Ryder was back and forth to his toys and back for bacon then he disappeared.
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‘I looked out of the window and he was face down in the garden. He had pyjamas on and they’d been completely ripped off so he just had a sleeve on.
‘When we picked him up and rolled him, his face was just gone.’Ryder was then airlifted to hospital and endured 14 hours of surgery.
Medical professionals warned Brittany to prepare for the worst but despite expectations, Ryder defied the odds, learning to eat and drink, attending pre-school and kindergarten.
His mum said: ‘The doctors said they would do what they could but we weren’t expecting him to make it.
‘They said it’s a miracle that he’s still here because he was so small and the injuries were so severe.’
Now, Brittany, 31, is determined to raise awareness on the effects of bullying ahead of Ryder starting school in September.
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‘He wears glasses and a cap and sometimes he’ll hang his head to hide his face.
‘I try to deal with it in a better manner so it doesn’t affect him so much.
‘But I just tell him every day that he’s beautiful, different is beautiful and it’s okay to be different.’The family are currently raising money for Ryder’s plastic surgery, and are accepting donations on their GoFundMe page.
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