Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Sumter child mauled by a pit bull is receiving special medical care thanks to a News19 viewer and his special organization.
"He don't have his ears. He don't have his scalp or nothing," said the victim's mother April Sumrall. For Sumrall, the horror of the attack against her son is surreal. "It just seems like a dream. It don't even seem real to me," said Sumrall.
The reality is devastating. George, a two-year-old, needs a tube to restore his hearing. However, the sobering truth isn't falling on deaf ears.
"That's our sole purpose is to help children. The child was in need. It didn't matter if the family could pay for it or not. We offered our services," said Fred Sharpe, who is in charge at the Jamil Temple in Columbia.
A fellow Shriner contacted Sharpe after seeing a News19 story about George. The ball quickly started rolling from there.
"The child has gone to one of our hospitals, which probably has some of the best surgeons in the world," said Sharpe.
The nonprofit organization has 22 hospitals throughout the country, and George has been transferred to one in Cincinnati, OH. The toddler isn't the only one receiving a blessing either.
The flight alone to the Ohio hospital costs $15,000. All the boy's medical bills for the rest of his childhood are going to be covered by the Shriners. It's just a small part of the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to families in South Carolina every year by the group.
"Regardless of the family's ability to pay, we're gonna take care of them," said Sharpe.
The Shriners say they're looking to help other families in our area who have children with medical needs. You can call 803-772-0732 for information.
They're also in need of donations, as 100% of their services come from people's giving. If you'd like to donate to the Shriners click here.