A NEW mom was left with part of her lip hanging off after she was viciously mauled by a German Shepard at a barbecue.
Virginia Beach native Amber Esala was celebrating Independence Day with her boyfriend, Kyle, and her daughter Raelynn, when fireworks went off nearby – spooking the pooch a neighbor was dogsitting.
The startled animal then attacked the 26-year-old, ripping off part of her face.
“A loud boom went off and before I knew it there were bright lights and an EMT asking me if I knew what happened,” Esala wrote in a detailed Instagram post about the event.
“The last thing I remembered was staring into the dog’s eyes before it attacked me. I remember jumping up and holding my whole face as the blood poured out.”
Esala was rushed through two emergency rooms where she received “countless” stitches on her mouth and nose.
The young mom was discharged from the hospital the next day but was scared that Raelynn would not recognize her mother with her injuries.
Amber is proud of her scars and believe they are a mark of being a survivor[/caption]
“Let’s face it, kids are honest. I was afraid to walk into the house and my daughter not know who I was or turn her head in fear,” Esala wrote in another post.
But Esala said that when she walked into her home and ripped the Band-Aid off, little Raelynn just looked at her “scrunched her little nose and that was it.”
Esala said that moment gave her the strength to share her journey – which she said is a learning experience for others.
“I am thankful for a lot of things because as bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse. I am more thankful that my little girl wasn’t around, nor did she see anything happen,” Esala said.
Amber, Kyle and Raelynn on July 4[/caption]
She added, “Use this as a wakeup call, a teaching moment, a learning experience for your family, little ones and animal owners because I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else.”
Esala said that in the days since the attack, she often thinks about Bridger Walker — the brave 6-year-old boy from Wyoming who received international praise for rescuing his sister from charging German Shepherd mix on July 9.
“That little boy who was so courageous to step in front of his little sister when a dog charged them. If this little boy sees this, you are strong and I hope you continue to share your experience raising awareness and strength,” Esala said.
Amber before the dog attack (left) with friends[/caption]
Esala is no stranger to adversity, the young widow lost her previous husband and later miscarried their child in the same month.
“The scars on the outside fade however the scars on the inside are with us forever,” Esala said.
But her story has started to inspire others.
“My dad was burnt 32% of his body when I was 2 and I just never knew him any other way and still don’t notice it like other people!” one Instagram user wrote in a comment.
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