The Shriner's Club stepped in to help 5-year-old Lilly Goodson. The club in Griffin had already adopted the Goodson family for Christmas, buying gifts for Lilly and her three brothers and sisters.
After learning about the attack, plans are in motion to transfer Goodson to a Shriner's hospital, free of charge.
"It's just a tragedy on a family that's already having hard times," Griffin Shriner's Club President Billy Kirkley said.
Kirkley met the Goodsons about a month ago.
"She was a good little girl, real strong. She was riding her bicycle around, no care in the world," Kirkley said.
He learned of the horrific attack on Wednesday. That's when the family pit bull grabbed a hold of Goodson in the backyard and wouldn't let go. Her grandmother and caregiver, tried desperately to pull the dog off.
"She lost her front teeth fighting the dog and she broke her hand. I think she's a hero," Kirkley said.
It took a Griffin police officer shooting the pit bull to end the attack. Goodson lost an ear and was left with severe bites to her face and body. The Shriner's knew they could help.
"It's just the most heart-wrenching thing you've ever seen in your life. The little girl, she's beat up from her head to her toes, and she's fighting for her life right now," member Bill Hatchett said.
Hatchett's own son suffered a dog bite years ago. He said he can't imagine anything more important than helping.
"She is going to need several extensive surgeries. There is no way without the help of Shriner's hospital that the family could afford to do that," Hatchett said.
Their hope is to help Goodson recover.
"It touches my heart pretty good. I'd like to see her up riding her bicycle again like when I first seen her," Kirkley said.
The transfer from Atlanta to Shriner's hospital in Cincinnati may take a few days. The hospital specializes in reconstructive surgery. Kirkley said the family has signed off on it, but doctors want to wait until Goodson is stable to travel.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:55 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:55:30 GMT
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:56 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:56:13 GMT
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