WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
These are the horrific images of a young boy who was missing chunks of flesh from his limbs following a violent dog mauling which left him inches from death.
Picture Credits: AsiaWire
And the mother of the six-year-old, who suffered 37 deep wounds during the attack, says her boy does not recognise her following his life-saving surgery.
The boy who has not been named is from the city of Tianshui in north-western China’s Gansu Province, where he was mercilessly attacked by the pack of strays outside a relative’s home on 14th February.
He was given priority status by Xi’an Honghui Hospital in the capital of neighbouring Shaanxi Province, with doctors rushing him into repeated surgeries to keep him alive.
His mum, surnamed Zhang, says her child had been “rescued from the hands of death” – but he does not recognise her.
“Sometimes he knows who I am; other times he doesn’t recognise me. He doesn’t even talk to me,” Zhang said.
She added: “I just want him to get better. Even if he won’t be able to walk in the future, at least he can be kind, be able to speak and call me mum.”
Recalling the day of the accident, Zhang said she had let her son play outside by himself, but an elderly neighbour carried him back just 20 minutes later.
Her boy was covered in blood and missing large chunks of his flesh, images taken at the hospital show.
Zhang said: “He had no trousers, no pants, and his shoes were missing. He was covered in blood.”
Doctor Song counted 37 separate wounds all over his body. He was immediately given rabies vaccinations in the emergency department.
The medic said: “He was admitted at nearly 10pm. I can only describe his situation at the time as ‘severe’ and ‘shocking’.”
“I had never seen a patient with so many and such serious wounds in my 25 years as a doctor,” Song, who is head of the hospital’s microscopic orthopedic surgery, added.
The boy has since undergone four surgeries and is in stable physical condition.
However, another one of his doctors, Fan Jinzhu, said the hospital now fears more for his psychological well-being following the traumatising ordeal, citing the boy’s apparent unwillingness to speak to anybody, including his own mother.
Doctor Fan said he also sometimes also refuses to let anybody besides doctors and nurses approach him.
The boy is likely to require counselling, Fan added.