In 2012, my daughter, Maggie Mae, was 4 years old.
It was the last day of school, and I was preparing to leave for graduation with Maggie Mae and my 2 year-old stepdaughter. We rescued a Great Dane just a month earlier. He was very smart and playful. The girls were playing with the dog and I interrupted them to take him out on a leash before we left. The girls followed me, and I remember them laughing and giggling and turning flips and twirling around, just as young little girls do.
Suddenly, the dog ripped the leash from my hand and took off towards Maggie Mae. The dog latched on to Maggie’s left arm first. I began kicking him in hopes he would let go. He turned and then bit on the top of my knee and then quickly went back to attacking Maggie Mae. At this point she was lying on the ground on her right side. The dog reached down and picked her up like she was a chew toy. He had the whole left side of her body in his mouth. He kept his grip and started shaking his head over and over, slinging her around in the air. It was kind of like she was a rag doll and he was just playing with his favorite toy. Finally, he just opened his mouth and let her go and walked a few feet away and just stood there.
I was able to find my phone and call 911 just as a neighbor arrived. He secured the dog and kept him contained. I sat on the walkway with my back against the front steps of my house holding on to my baby for dear life. There is nothing like cradling your 4 year-old daughter in yours arms whose side has been ripped from her. As she continued to bleed out, I held her tighter and tighter. She softly cried, “Help me mommy.” But, I was helpless; there was nothing I could do. I knew she was going to die while I was holding her in my arms.
After calling 911 a second time, I finally began to hear the sirens from the ambulance in the distance. Thankfully, a deputy sheriff heard my name on the radio and knew where I lived. He was the second person on the scene. I ran across my yard with Maggie Mae in my arms and handed her to him. I just remember saying, “Please help her.” Immediately after that more first responders (a few of them relatives) began arriving. God kept his hand on her and we managed to make it through rush hour traffic and eventually to the hospital. Air Evac Lifeteam #45 from Fayette flew her to Children’s in Birmingham from the hospital.
Maggie Mae underwent emergency surgery that lasted four hours and was taken to ICU on a ventilator and with three drainage tubes in her chest and one in her arm. She had close to 50 staples. She had a punctured lung and diaphragm. She was also given blood. She got stitches in her arm, too. She stayed in ICU for three days and was in the hospital for 10. She is my little MIRACLE. That was four years ago and she is now in the 3rd grade.
In July, she got to meet her flight nurse and take a picture with her and the helicopter. I can’t begin to express my sincere gratitude for the flight crew at AIR EVAC LIFETEAM 45. I will forever be grateful to our company and the services it provides.