By Joe Johnson
Three months after being nearly mauled to death by a pair of pit bulls and several days after being discharged from the hospital, a Winder teen received some special gifts from the University of Georgia.
According to a Facebook post by her grandfather, Paul Stinchcomb, 15-year-old Joslyn Stinchcomb on Wednesday received several clothing items from UGA’s Redcoats Marching Band, along with “a stack of notes and a hand-made card from the band.”
The mail also came with a note from the UGA Bulldogs football team’s head coach Kirby Smart that wished her a full recovery.
“I just want to encourage you to stay positive and keep fighting! GO DAWGS!!” Smart’s note said.
Paul Stinchcomb said in his Thursday night post: “We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love shown to Joslyn. We received (the items from UGA) in the mail yesterday and just wanted to share with everyone.
“First of all, Joslyn is a really big fan of the Redcoat Band and the Georgia Bulldogs, so Joslyn doesn’t fall far from the tree as our whole family bleeds red and black.”
The gifts and notes from the Redcoats have a special meaning for Joslyn.
This year, she was to begin her freshman year at Winder-Barrow High School, where she planned to play flute in the school's marching band that performs during halftime at WBHS Bulldoggs football games.
Joslyn was attacked on the afternoon of July 31 as she was walking in the Winder neighborhood where she lives with her grandparents, and two pit bulls escaped from a neighbor’s house, where they were unsecured and unattended, and chased the girl before bringing her to the ground and viciously mauling her.
Two girls in nearby houses heard Joslyn’s screams and called 911.
According to a Barrow County Sheriff’s report, a deputy who responded to the scene found Joslyn lying face down against a curb, with one dog grabbing her neck and the other biting at the girl’s head.
When the deputy got out of his vehicle, one of the dogs began to approach him and he shot it, according to the report. The wounded dog ran off and the other released its grasp on Joslyn and also ran away.
The dogs were later located at the owner’s residence and subsequently euthanized. The owner, 29-year-old Alexandria Torregrossa, was arrested for reckless conduct and given Animal Control citations after she returned home, according to the report.
Meanwhile, first responders frantically worked to save the girl’s life. The dogs that attacked Joslyn ripped off her entire scalp, severely damaged her trachea, tore off an ear and bit her all over. Joslyn suffered lacerations all over her face and so much nerve damage was done that it may continue to affect her smile, blinking and other facial expressions.
She was flown by helicopter to Grady Memorial Hospital and was later transferred to Egleston Children’s Hospital.
After enduring 19 surgeries, Joslyn was discharged last Saturday and triumphantly returned home in a fire truck that was near the front of a long procession of emergency and other vehicles. She continually honked the truck’s horn as it passed hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets.