Jennifer Kim’s sister had just adopted a dog.
So Kim decided to round up the family and go visit the canine in the small town of Maryville, Tenn.
Kim’s husband, Samson, hadn’t planned on going because he knew pit bulls could be dangerous. But he changed his mind. He wanted to be there just in case.
So Jennifer and Samson Kim, along with their daughter, and 7-year-old son, Sport Kim, headed out to meet the newest addition to the family on May 18, 2013.
When they got there, the dog was anything but welcoming; it started barking, to the point where Jennifer Kim’s sister had to put the pit bull in the kitchen.
But the dog didn’t quite make it there.
Submitted by Jennifer Kim.
Out of nowhere, Jennifer Kim said the dog lunged from her sister’s grasp, jumped over a coffee table and latched on to her son’s face as he stood up from the couch. The dog sunk its teeth in and wasn’t letting go, she said.
Samson Kim reacted instantly, grabbing the dog’s head so it couldn’t shake and tear the already hideous wounds even more wide open.
As Samson Kim struggled to keep the dog’s head still, he began choking the pit bull, holding on for all he was worth until the dog finally passed out. Only then, in an unconscious state, did the pit bull’s jaws fall from Sport Kim’s face.
The scene was a bloody mess. And after more than 1,000 stitches and major reconstructive surgery, Sport Kim set off on a path to recovery.
He will have four more major facial surgeries before his physical recovery is complete. But the emotional scars are still raw, Jennifer Kim said. And unfortunately, an incident only six weeks after the attack, prolonged the healing process, she said.
When Sport Kim was finally able to go outside, his dad took him to a nearby park to get his mind off the brutal attack.
About an hour in, Sport Kim and his father walked to the water fountain. But suddenly, the younger Kim jumped and climbed up his father’s back – a pit bull was coming their way.
It wasn’t the mere sight of the dog that spooked the 7-year-old so bad, even though Jennifer Kim said her son now is terribly frightened by the breed.
The pit bull was on the loose, she said, and while it didn’t go after Sport and Samson Kim, before reaching the two, it attacked and killed a shitzu in front of the already shaken boy’s eyes.
After her son was attacked, Jennifer Kim said she thought it was an isolated incident. She had always thought that pit bulls were nice, friendly and safe.
After their lives were turned upside down, and they faced tens of thousands of dollars in co-pays for hers son’s surgeries, Jennifer Kim said she did some research and found out she was wrong.
“[The attack] has changed his life in ways I can’t even describe,” Jennifer Kim said. “I had no idea this was happening to others. I thought pit bulls were nice, friendly, safe pets for children and families. After the attack, Jeff Borchardt said: ‘You are one of the lucky ones.’ I thought, ‘How dare he say that?’ But I investigated and found he lost his son to a similar incident.”