(WRDW/WAGT) -- A three-year-old is preparing for his fourth surgery after a PIT BULL wanders into a family's back yard and attacks him. His family is devastated, but is hopeful this almost tragic incident will serve as a reminder for both parents and pet owners alike.
"It's awful. I want to forget. You know, it's one of those things I'll never be able to forget."
A day of playing outside turns into a nightmare for Sherri Guzman.
She and her husband were inside their Raborn Road home in Hephzibah Sunday afternoon, worn out from a day of playing ball with their three-year-old son Andrez. The back door was propped open, giving their energetic son enough room to run inside when he decided his day of playing was done.
Their quiet Sunday afternoon would soon turn to chaos when they heard cries coming from the backyard.
"Together we stepped towards the door and we heard dogs growling and we heard a lady screaming for help," Guzman says. "We run around the corner of the house and about 30 feet from the corner of our home, we saw a bunch of dogs jumping around and the neighbor lady was letting him off the ground."
She says the next thing she saw is the single-most traumatizing sight she's ever seen - her three-year-old son bleeding profusley from his head. She recalls several deep, gruesome cuts to her son's face close to his left ear and an everlasting sound from her injured son.
"He kept saying, 'Mama, I've got blood on me.' And I could see his head was covered with deep cuts," Guzman says. "There was part of his skull showing in multiple places and his nasal cavity was open, I could see into his nose. And at that moment, I thought I had lost my boy."
After a life-saving cranial surgery, hundreds of stitches and five days worth of prayers, Andrez and his family are still at the Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta. Guzman, a stay-at-home mom, says she'll be staying next to her son's side until they leave for home. She told me before the interview it had been her first time outside since Sunday night.
We talked about the dangers of letting pets prone to aggressive behaviors wander, but also about the importance parents should put on watching their children.
She wanted to remind pet owners the dogs they know can be sweet and cuddly. But when their animal instincts kick in around strangers or if they feel threatened, you never know what can happen.
"It is easy to just get really comfortable," Guzman says, "and we think, 'Well, these animals have never growled at us, therefore they are not dangerous to us.' But that's not the case and we learned that the hard way."
She's also hoping other parents will be reminded that constantly keeping an eye on your growing child might save their life one day.
"They will be saved," Guzman says, "from having to watch their child suffer like we have watched our son suffer."
But for now, she's grateful to hold her son close in her arms. Whether it's in a hospital bed or his own at home, she says she'll be watching and holding him closer after nearly losing him for good.
Guzman says Andrez will be going through his fourth surgery before the end of the week, but doctors believe he'll be okay. They're hoping to be out of the hospital by early next week.
An incident report shows THE PIT BULL AND HER FOUR PUPPIES WERE ALL INVOLVED IN THE ATTACK and remain quarantined by Augusta Animal Control. State law requires dogs involved in attacks must be quarantined for 10 days to be checked for rabies.
It is not sure yet if any of the dogs will be put down following the attack. The incident report shows the mother does not want the mother to be returned to her control following the 10 days, but it does not list anything about the puppies.
A court date has been set for Guzman and her neighbor, but it is not sure yet if the owner will face any charges.