A Las Vegas plastic surgeon plans to offer free help to reconstruct the face of a 3-year-old Mississippi girl mauled in a dog attack.
Dr. Frank Stile is planning a trip this weekend to meet and evaluate the girl, whose story has garnered national attention.
Victoria Wilcher lost her right eye and the ability to move the right side of her face in an April pitbull attack. She also suffered a broken jaw, nose and cheek bone, according to a Facebook page set up for the girl.
Victoria’s story recently went viral after her family said she was asked to leave a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Jackson, Miss., because of her facial scars.
“This is just an example of what she’s going to have to deal with for the rest of her life unless she gets help,” said Stile, who has done surgeries on Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters with nose and other facial injuries.
“Things can always be made to look better,” Stile said this week. “We’re not hoping for miracles here, we’re going to do our best.”
Stile said the kind of surgeries he’s offering typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, but that a nonprofit he set up, The Frank. L. Stile Foundation, will pay for the procedures.
The doctor said he couldn’t give a more accurate estimate until he’d evaluated the girl. He said reconstruction will take multiple surgeries over many years.
The Facebook page for Victoria had surpassed 169,000 likes as of Thursday. A Go Fund Me page has raised more than $130,000.
“We are very excited (and very thankful) that Dr. Frank Stile will be flying in from Las Vegas, Nevada this week to evaluate Victoria,” the family said Wednesday, on the Facebook page
Victoria was attacked while staying with her grandfather, Donald Mullins, and his girlfriend, Rita Tompkins, in Florence, Miss. about twenty miles south of Jackson.
Mullins told police that the girl was playing in her room when some of his pitbulls pulled the door open and attacked her, according to a Simpson County Mississippi sheriff’s report. When Mullins could not get the dogs off of her, he grabbed a pistol and shot two of them to death.
Both adults were booked on charges of child endangerment and taken into custody. They have since been released on bail.
Mullins had about 10 to 12 pitbulls total, Sheriff Kenneth Lewis said. Six dogs were picked up by the Mississippi Animal Rescue League and with Mullin’s consent, were put down, said Debra Boswell, executive director of the rescue group.
A KFC spokesman said the restaurant chain is investigating the family’s accusations.
“Regardless of the outcome of our investigation first reference, we have apologized to Victoria’s family and are committed to assisting them,” said KFC spokesman Rick Maynard in an email. The company is donating $30,000 to the Wilcher family’s for medical bills.
Victoria’s surgery will be the first fully covered by Stile’s foundation, according to Jordan Dove, the nonprofit’s director of development and marketing. The foundation also has donated money to Southern Nevada nonprofits including The Shade Tree, Three Square and St. Jude’s Ranch.
Contact Alexander Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0270. Find him on Twitter: @acoreynews.