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Family of seven-year-old injured in dog attack thanks ‘magic hands’ of surgeons

Sophie Evans suffered wounds to her head and face so deep that her skull was exposed.

Sophie Evans at Sheffield Children’s Hospital (family handout/Sheffield Chldren’s Hospital)
Sophie Evans at Sheffield Children’s Hospital (family handout/Sheffield Chldren’s Hospital)

By Dave Higgens, PA

The mother of a seven-year-old girl who was left with part of her skull exposed after a dog attack has praised the “magic hands” of the surgeons who patched her back together.

Sophie Evans, from Wombwell, South Yorkshire, was left covered in blood and with bite wounds across her face and scalp after she was attacked by a German Shepherd dog in January.

Sophie’s mother, Lyndsey, 34, described her horror at finding her daughter with injuries so deep that the bones were exposed on her head.

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Sophie Evans at Sheffield Children’s Hospital (Family handout / Sheffield Chldren’s Hospital)

Mrs Evans said: “I got a phone call at work to say Sophie had been attacked and I was heartbroken when I saw her.

“To this day, I cannot believe how brave she was when I arrived, she just held out her hand and said ‘mummy, I’m OK’.”

Mrs Evans, said Sophie was taken to a local hospital but then transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s emergency department.

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Sophie Evans with mum, Lyndsey, dad, Rob, and brother, Jack (Family handout / Sheffield Children’s Hospital)

She said that Sophie’s nine-year-old brother Jack saw the attack and began to worry that she would not survive.

“I’m used to seeing people on their worst days but nothing can prepare you for being on the other side as a parent,” said Mrs Evans, who is a receptionist in a hospital emergency department.

Sophie was treated by the emergency team before spending four-and-a-half hours in surgery the next morning.

She was discharged two days later and Sophie was back at Kingsoak Primary School, in Wombwell, within three weeks.

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Sophie Evans with brother Jack – Family handout / Sheffield Childrens Hospital

Mrs Evans said: “All the staff who helped us were absolutely amazing, words will never be enough to explain how forever grateful we will be.

“On the worst day of our lives, they made sure we were all looked after and reassured.

“Thanks to the magic hands of the emergency department team, her scars are barely noticeable today. They fixed my Sophie up and she is perfect to us once again.”

The family has now devoted themselves to fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s £4.5 million appeal to build a new emergency department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Jack has already begun the effort, running his first-ever 10K alongside his dad – security officer Rob, 37 – and raising £800 towards the appeal.

David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said the emergency department was built to see a maximum of 32,000 patients every year but last year saw almost 57,000.

In addition to the expanded waiting room and clinical space, the redevelopment will also build a dedicated space for children with mental health issues or learning difficulties and a separate area for adolescents.

Mr Vernon-Edwards said: “We’re so thankful to Sophie’s family for sharing their story and to her brother, Jack, for his fantastic fundraising.”

PA

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