Published January 11, 2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A 10-year-old western Kentucky boy whose face was mauled in a pit bull attack is recovering in a Louisville hospital after doctors reattached his nose.
A veterinarian in Henderson euthanized the dog after the attack and recovered the nose from the dog's stomach on Wednesday.
The boy, Matthew Weaver, was in good condition after undergoing surgery at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The boy's great-uncle, Rick Evans, said Friday he has seen a photo of the boy's reattached nose and it "looks as good as you can possibly imagine after something like that."
But doctors have told the family they'll have to wait a few days to see if the nose successfully reattaches to his face, Evans said.
Police said the boy was visiting friends at a home in Henderson County Wednesday when the dog attacked him.
The dog's owner, Robert Santana, told police Matthew and two other children were playing in the yard with the adult dog, "which was getting the dog rowdy," the statement said. Santana and his wife calmed the children down and brought them inside.
Matthew was sitting on a couch next to the dog and as the boy was staring at the dog, the pit bull lunged at him, bit off his nose and swallowed it, police said.
Col. David Crafton with the sheriff's office said Friday that the boy suffered a few other small wounds, a cut to his lip and a small puncture on his forehead.
Santana told police he got the animal as a puppy and it had not previously shown signs of aggression.
Evans, who is a captain at the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, said Matthew loves dogs and they have many in the family. Matthew is handling the attack "as well as he could."
"He's like any other boy, the thing we always kind of say about him is he's got a pretty good set of dimples, you really don't see that on a boy. He's got a really cute little face," Evans said.
After the attack, animal control officers came to house to find the dog but they could not locate the boy's nose, police said. They took the dog to a veterinarian's office where the nose was removed from the dog's stomach, and then transported to the local emergency room where the boy was being treated. Matthew was transported to Kosair hospital where the reattachment surgery was performed.