Dog attack 'tore my daughter's world apart'

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The teenage girl savagely attacked by a dog has been praised for her bravery by her father.

Rachel Wisniewski, 13, of Maple Grove, Warton, near Preston, was mauled by a bull mastiff at a friend's house before Christmas.

Her lower lip and chin were ripped off in the attack and she has already undergone more than 27 hours of reconstructive surgery – including 10 hours on Christmas Day – and will have to have more operations in years to come.

Rachel's parents, Jim and Sarah Wisniewski - who also have an 11-year-old daughter Amy and a son Joe, seven - say their lives have been thrown into turmoil and they are trying to cope with one day at a time.

Dad Jim commended Rachel for her bravery and strength of character since the incident, saying: "Rachel is not just having to deal with the physical effects of the attack, she is also having to live with the mental consequences of what has happened.

"She is a 13-year-old girl who was just starting to get interested in wearing make-up and talking to boys when this happened and tore her world apart.

"It is such a lot for someone so young to deal with, but Rachel has been so brave it is unbelievable.

"She has shown great courage and the whole family is very proud of her."

Rachel, a pupil at Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, was at a friend's house on Lytham Road, Freckleton and had been petting their bull mastiff when it suddenly turned on her.

The dog has been destroyed.

Rachel was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where plastic surgeons rebuilt her face. Doctors are now waiting to see how her injuries heal before more cosmetic work can be done.

Jim said: "Rachel is understandably worried about how she is going to look and we are just trying to help her cope and get through it all. She is very up and down, but is very brave.

"She is not fit enough to go back to school yet and it will be at least another month or two before she is physically well enough to return."

He also praised Rachel's friends for rallying round her and the school for their understanding and helping with her education.

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