A Las Vegas plastic surgeon plans to perform facial reconstruction surgery on three-year-old Victoria Wilcher—the child whose family claims they were asked to leave a restaurant because injuries she suffered in a pit bull attack repulsed customers.
Claims that the story was all a hoax that brought in big donations from strangers have not dissuaded Dr. Frank Stile from pledging his services to Victoria, who lost an eye in the attack, which occurred in April while she was visiting her grandparents.
“I’m not in any place to make judgments-- it doesn’t change her injuries or her future she’d have without help.”
- Dr. Frank Stile
“It didn’t matter what people’s motivations may have been,” Stile told Foxnews.com. “I’m not in any place to make judgments-- it doesn’t change her injuries or her future she’d have without help.”
Wilcher’s grandmother claims employees of a Mississippi KFC restaurant asked their family to leave last month because patrons complained. Following the incident, KFC pledged to give the Wilcher family $30,000 towards Victoria’s medical bills and more than $135,000 in donations for the family reportedly poured in on a Facebook page.
When Stile’s officer manager told him about Victoria’s story, he immediately flew to Mississippi to offer up surgeries that would otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I was there probably 72 hours later," Stile said. “I felt hurt for her.”
However, in the aftermath of the story, Louisville-based KFC said two separate investigations found no evidence substantiating the incident ever happened.
The Wilchers deny their story is a hoax and have hired a lawyer. But a website set up to take in donations for the family has offered refunds.
Stile said despite learning of the potential hoax, he still plans to donate a series of complicated surgeries to Victoria--who was left without a right eye and a partially paralyzed face after she was attacked earlier this year by three pit bulls. He said offering to help doesn't make him a hero.
“The doctors at the University of Mississippi, Jackson, are the real heroes.” Stile said. “It was those folks who saved her life because she was critically injured--she was basically torn apart by dogs.”
While in Mississippi, Stile spent some time with Victoria and her family.
“She was a little apprehensive meeting a stranger,” Stile said. “She’s also a little self conscious because of her appearance because she knows she looks different, but once she warmed up to me, she was very playful.”
Stile told FoxNews.com that Victoria will have her right lower eyelid reconstructed in a few months. He says Dr. Raymond Peters of Florida will fabricate a prosthetic eye for Victoria and that he and Dr. Kyle Lewis will complete the operation in Mississippi.
After that, therapists will help improve motion in Victoria’s mouth to help her chew and swallow. Stile said she’ll then undergo a series of related operations for years to come.
Stile said the logistics of when and where the procedures will be performed hasn't been decided. However he said he will handle the majority of the cosmetic surgeries.
“We want to make sure she has great continuity of care,” Stile said.
Stile is a board certified surgeon who has 12 years of post-graduate experience specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He has no children of his own, but in 2009 founded the Frank L. Stiles foundation, which gives surgery to children who need correction.
“I love what I do and I love giving back just as much,” Stile said. “Why not share in a way to help others that are struggling…especially children?”
Stile said it’s that philosophy that encouraged him to stay focused solely on Victoria throughout this process—which he says ultimately helped bring them together.
“Her grandmother helped her call me the other day to say hello,” Stile said. "It was very sweet. She knows who I am."