LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A young south-central Kentucky girl attacked by a pit bull Monday headed home from Kosair Children's Hospital Wednesday night.
According to Elisa Skaggs, before the attack her granddaughter Elisa Fannin was a happy go lucky child who liked animals and people.
"Spunky," said Skaggs in describing the 6-year-old. "She was happy. She wasn't afraid of anything."
There will be time enough to contemplate the effects of Monday's brutal attack in Bowling Green while Elisa was visiting neighbors. For now, everyone's happy she's heading home, and happy she's still alive.
"She's cheerful," Skaggs said. "She can talk a little bit. But not very much. She's communicating with us by drawing pictures and motions and writing on a board."
Tuesday, surgeons wired Elisa's jaw shut and repaired damage to her eye, ear and cheek.
"Her eye was cut, this (left) eye, all the way across from the corner to the top of her eyelid," said Skaggs while gesturing to her own face. "And then down around toward her mouth. This (right) one was cut from her lip all the way through the muscle and up back toward her eye. And they had to wire her jaw shut and fix the muscles and everything. There were big chunks out of her jaw--they had to put those back in and sew them together."
Initially, doctors thought that because of the extent of the injuries, it might be two weeks before Elisa could return to her grandmother's home in Bowling Green. But around 4 p.m. Wednesday, her family got the surprising, and much welcomed, news.
"The doctor's nurse said she can go home. We see no reason to keep her," said Skaggs. "We were tickled to death. We were all cheering. And she was just smiling from ear to ear saying, I want to go home."
Elisa's father and grandparents were on hand as nurses wheeled the little girl out of Kosair and headed back to Bowling Green, where, as of Wednesday night, the pit bull was still quarantined as of Wednesday night at the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society.
Earlier Wednesday, the owners of the dog, 25-year-old Ray Lane and 32-year-old Erica Clina, were both arrested and charged with harboring a vicious animal and failure to vaccinate. The second charge was added because the dog's rabies vaccinations haven't been updated. For the dog owners, Skaggs has little sympathy.
"I'm elated. I'm just glad, I am so happy that they have been arrested," Skaggs said. "Action needs to be taken. They don't need to be housing vicious animals. I mean, apartment complex is no place for animals like that."
Skaggs says she has fears the attack may affect her granddaughter emotionally.
"I'm afraid she might be less outgoing," Skaggs admits. "Afraid of where she might be going or where she's going to. I'm afraid she might be afraid of closed doors, because she might be afraid of what's behind that door."
While physically, doctors say Elisa may need one more surgery, but should eventually make a full recovery, Skaggs, who claims 40 years in the medical profession, knows the healing process will take time.
"We've got dogs at home, and they're small dogs and I'm afraid she might be afraid of those even for a while," said Skaggs. "So we're going to take precautions with those animals, and hopefully she'll get over being afraid of dogs. But she's excited and anxious to see those dogs, so I'm hoping she's not afraid of dogs."