It’s been almost two weeks since 11-year-old Justin Gilstrap was mauled by three pit bulls, and he’s in the middle of making a miraculous recovery. The boy from Appling, Georgia, lost seventy percent of his scalp in the violent attack, but thanks to the quick thinking of his mother and doctors, he is expected to make a full recovery in a short period of time, given the severity of the dogs’ rampage.
In a recent update from his hospital bed, Justin had a message for everyone: “Don’t give up.” Even in the darkest of times, Justin reminds us that there is always hope. His story is an inspiration to us all. Thank you, Justin, for reminding us never to give up on ourselves or to lose hope in the systems put in place to help us through trials and tribulations, like the network of hospitals available to Americans across the country.
Justin Gilstrap is a true testament to the human spirit after enduring a horrific attack. On April 24, 2022, he was mauled by three pit bulls and lost the vast majority of his scalp in the vicious assault. Despite his physical and psychological scars, Justin has made an incredible recovery.
From his hospital bed, Justin has given a heartbreaking update on his status to those who have been following his journey and praying for him – showing that even in the worst of circumstances, people can pull through. Justin’s story serves as a reminder to us all that resilience always prevails in the face of adversity.
Justin was biking home on Friday when the pack of pit bulls surrounded him and mauled him like he was a raw piece of meat. Despite his serious injuries, the boy told local news agency WRDW, “\Hey, everybody. I love y’all. I just want you to know I’m OK.”
Thankfully, generous people have been donating money to Justin’s GoFundMe account, which was set up by his dedicated mother, Ericka Gilstrap. The family has raised more than $220,000 for Justin’s mounting medical expenses. In America, it costs victims a lot of money to get the recovery care they need to return to the life they had before such an attack.
When the dogs targeted Justin, they broke free from a neighbor’s yard and attacked. One dog bit Justin’s leg, which allowed the other dogs to close in and go for the Georgia boy’s head. They tore off pieces of his scalp, his ears, his chest, and even from his legs. The dogs nearly killed Justin before they ran off to find something else to occupy their time.
Relatives found Justin mauled to near death in a pile of dirt. Mother Ericak told the Augusta Chronicle that her mother witnessed the blood bath.
“She said there was just blood everywhere,” Ericka said. “She couldn’t tell where she was bleeding from … but apparently he was bleeding from everywhere because there’s not an inch of his body that is not covered in a cut or bruise.”
The dogs’ owner, Burt Baker III, was charged with reckless conduct and admitted that his dogs loved chasing people on bicycles.
“The sad thing is we have reported these dogs several times before,” Erica wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Columbia County did nothing! It’s sad it took this for them to finally do something.”