Local News

Toddler recovering at home after Thanksgiving dog attack

Posted January 6, 2016 6:33 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2016 11:23 a.m. EST

— A toddler who was injured in a dog attack the day after Thanksgiving was recovering at home Wednesday after multiple surgeries and nearly 40 hours in an operating room.

Ryder and his family were visiting friends at a home at 2312 Euston St. in Raleigh for the holidays when the toddler found his way into the back yard where two Rottweiler dogs were being kept.

Brittany Wells, Ryder's mom, said the whole thing happened in less than five minutes.

“I looked out the back door, and I didn’t see him and then all of a sudden, I saw him lying [there] and it was ‘Oh my god, he’s in trouble,'” said Wells.

Wells said the dogs had not previously shown signs of aggression.

On Wednesday, she told WRAL News she was not sure she would ever see her little boy sleep in his bed again.

"(The doctors) told us they did not think he was going to make it," she said. "They were surprised...from the extensive injuries he suffered. They are surprised he made it."

Wells said Ryder's injuries were serious.

"The left eye under his eyelid, half of his nose, most of his lips were completely taken off down to his jaw," she said. "His jaw was broken in two places and his right arm was broken."

Five surgeries later, Ryder’s personality has not changed.

"He is 23 pounds...he is 2, and he still beats up his big brother," Wells said.

Wells says she found somewhat of a cathartic outlet in social media, and though some graphic pictures were met with criticism, she said she wanted to show how her son beat the odds.

"It was not meant to shock people," she said. "It was not meant to upset anyone. It was that Ryder survived, and this is what he survived and he is amazing for that."

Ryder has another skin graft surgery scheduled for Feb. 15.

And while Wells says there is no doubt the coming months will be a challenge, she believes this is part of a purpose and will serve as inspiration to others.