Local News

Community Helps Family After Son's Dog Attack

Posted December 24, 2007 5:57 p.m. EST
Updated December 24, 2007 6:00 p.m. EST

— Last Christmas, Terry and Jamie Martin’s household wasn’t very merry or bright.

Several months earlier, their son Lawrence had been mauled by a neighborhood dog and received 200 stitches. His medical expenses began mounting and eventually totaled more than $12,000.

The family couldn’t pay its mortgage. Terry Martin was a trucker, but had no health insurance coverage. Last February, when WRAL met the Martins, they were facing foreclosure. But the community wouldn’t let that happen.

Now, more than a year since their son’s attack, the family says it has a lot to be thankful for.

“We had stuff coming in the mail for months, because people were just praying for us,” Jamie Martin said.

A church paid the family’s past due mortgage payments, which totaled $7,000, and a company agreed to pay the mortgage bills for a year. Terry Martin now owns his own rig. He bought it with the money earned from some hard driving this year.

The 18-wheeler will stay parked until Christmas night when Terry and Lawrence will hit the road for Pennsylvania together. Until then, they won’t be counting the miles. They will be home counting their blessings.

“Well, there was an awful lot of good people in the world that cares. And when they helped me out, not a dime of that money was wasted,” Terry said.

Lawrence is still undergoing therapy for post-traumatic stress and anxiety due to the dog attack. His family settled a $40,000 suit against the homeowners where the attack happened. The money will all go to Lawrence when he's 18.