By Joe Johnson
The Winder girl who was nearly killed when attacked last week by two pit bulls has been taken off the ventilator that had been breathing for her over a several-days period, the girl’s mother announced Wednesday morning.
Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, has been in intensive care at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta with extensive injuries she sustained in the Friday afternoon dog attack.
Among her injuries was a badly damaged trachea from being bitten in the neck by one of the dogs.
The Winder-Barrow High School student underwent surgery on Tuesday to put a stint in her airway to keep it open and possibly allow her to breathe through it.
“Major praise. Thank you all for your prayers,” the girl’s grandmother, Sandra Stinchcomb, announced Wednesday morning on the Prayers and Updates for Joslyn Facebook page.
“She's breathing on her own," the woman said in the post. “Will still have the tracheotomy and the other internal airway stint for some time, but was able to come off the vent and is breathing a steady 12-14 bpm all on her own.”
Sandra Stinchcomb added, “She’s still a long way from being out of danger, but this is a major step.”
Joslyn’s grandmother is also her legal guardian, and because of the COVID-10 pandemic has been the only family member allowed to be in the girl’s hospital room.
Her aunt, Charity Stinchcomb Montgomery, has provided regular updates about Joslyn’s condition on the Facebook page.
On Tuesday night, after Joslyn came out of surgery, Montgomery posted: “The vocal cords look like they will be okay but are still way too swollen to know for sure. They put a different kind of stint in her airway that will keep it open and she could possibly even breathe through it. However instead of a tube coming out of her mouth, it just has some kind of lip thing on it that’s under the skin so she don’t feel it and can’t dislodge it. They are going to try unhooking the vent tomorrow to see if she can breathe on her own and have her try to see if she can make any sound at all. If she does well the stint will come out in about 3 weeks and if she’s breathing on her own and the swelling is gone from the airway, they might be able to remove the tracheotomy. However, that whole process will depend greatly on how she progresses.”
During the attack one of the pit bulls ripped of one of Joslyn’s ears and the other dog tore off her scalp.
“Her ear appears to be healing and they actually placed a tube to reconstruct the middle ear to the eardrum since it all does appear to be healing. She may have some hearing deficiencies on that side but they don’t think she will be deaf in that ear,” Montgomery posted Tuesday night.
“They tried to find facial nerve to reattach but it was just too mangled. Down the road they might can try to do a type of nerve transplant from another part of the body but not sure yet,” she said.
Anyone wanting to donate to help pay for Joslyn's medical expenses may do so at the only fundraising platform authorized by Joslyn's family at https://paypal.me/pools/c/8rm0RZItmD