A Las Vegas plastic surgeon says he will still help a 3-year-old Mississippi girl whose face was mauled by dogs, even after allegations that her family falsified part of her story that went viral.
Last week Dr. Frank Stile offered to reconstruct Victoria Wilcher’s face for free. Stile got word of Victoria’s story like many others: It got nationwide attention when her family said she was asked to leave a KFC in Jackson, Miss., because of her facial scars.
Now, the girl’s family is being accused of making up that part of the the story, but that doesn’t seem to have dissuaded the Las Vegas doctor.
Asked about the alleged hoax Wednesday, Stile said via a spokeswoman that he does not have an opinion.
“That’s not his concern,” said Susan Davis, who runs Stile’s practice. “What he does know is that a little girl is a victim and that’s what his focus is.”
KFC has conducted its own investigations into the family’s allegations, including looking at video surveillance at multiple Jackson locations. There’s no evidence the girl was asked to leave, a company spokesman said.
But that hasn’t changed a previous KFC promise.
“We are honoring our commitment to make a $30,000 donation to assist with Victoria’s medical bills,” said KFC Spokesman Rick Maynard in an email.
Facebook and Go Fund Me social media pages to support Victoria appear to have been taken down. The Go Fund Me page raised over $130,000.
Attorneys for the family, William Kellum and Lindsey Turk, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A family member has been quoted by other media outlets disputing KFC’s findings.
Davis said Stile’s foundation is trying to raise money for Victoria.
In April, Victoria was mauled by her grandfather’s pitbulls while she visited his home. Victoria lost her right eye and the ability to move the right side of her face. She also suffered a broken jaw, nose and cheek bone.
Stile went to Mississippi last week to meet Victoria and identified a three-stage process for her recovery, Davis said.
Dr. Raymond Peters of Naples, Fla., — who also offered free help prior to the hoax allegations — will still fit Victoria with a new prosthetic eye.
“The child is separate and above this problem with KFC. I made a commitment,” Peters said in a phone call. “I’m going to keep my commitment as long as it takes.”
In addition to working with Peters, Stile is currently searching for a neurologist who can help restore movement and feeling to Victoria’s face, Davis said.
Victoria’s facial reconstruction is expected to take years because, as she grows up, prosthetics and surgeries will have to be redone.
Contact Alexander Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0270. Find him on Twitter: @acoreynews.