A boy whose family moved here in February is home recovering from severe injuries he received on July 4 when a dog attacked him. Frankie Hall, 7, was visiting at a neighbor's house when the attack happened.
"It was a bad incident." Frankie's father Matt said this week. Frankie was attacked mostly in the face by the dog, Hall said. "We don't really know yet if his sight's OK. There are a lot of things we don't know. It's pretty gruesome."
The Halls just moved into Delaware Township in February, and Frankie's made fast friends with some of the kids in his spread-out neighborhood. "Frankie, the neighbor's son and nephew are like the bike crew, riding the neighborhood," Hall said, describing a setting with maybe three houses within a quarter-mile of each other.
Frankie and his dad were heading over to the neighbors' house the evening of July 4, Hall said, adding, "we were invited over for some fireworks." Frankie went over first and Hall was following a bit behind. The attack occurred before he got there, Hall said.
Early Sunday morning, July 5, Frankie "had five hours of surgery," Hall said. The reconstructive surgery, by a team at Morristown Trauma Center, was the first of more surgeries that will be needed in the future.
Frankie's been home a little more than a week now, and his face is all bandaged up, but "he's healing," his dad said. "I tell him we'll listen to the doctors. But we're headed down the road in the right direction."
Matt and Paula Hall are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the support their family's getting from their new community.
"We've only been here since the middle of February, but we've been really heartened by how much people have done for us," Matt said. "Frankie's classmates and teachers have come over just to spend some time with him."
"Being new to the area, we have been overwhelmed by the community in their show of support in Frankie's recovery," Paula adds, mentioning neighbors, police, animal control officers, school staff and more. "We just really want the community to know how thankful we are."
A friend of the Halls set up a Go Fund Me site, "Frankie's medical fund," at gofundme.com/yn9q8rs, where people can contribute to help with ongoing medical expenses.