Tameka Zachary is thankful to have her daughter back.
Spending two days at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston after being attacked by a pit bull, 12-year-old A’lexus Zachary was back at home with her family before Christmas and will be ready to return to Lithonia Middle School after the Christmas break.
Tameka Zachary killed the dog with a knife and a brick after it attacked her daughter on Dec. 23, at the Lithonia house of her best friend, 12-year-old Precious Gatlin.
“I was in shock,” Tameka Zachary said about the attack on Dec. 23, a day after her daughter was released from the hospital. “All I could think about was getting my baby back.”
Despite being stabbed and beaten, the dog kept charging after A’lexus. The animal finally collapsed outside a bathroom where A’lexus had gone to get away from the dog, her mother said.
Precious’ mother LaShonda Gatlin and Precious’ 14-year-old brother Chris Gatlin also tried to get the dog off A’lexus. LaShonda Gatlin even stabbed the dog once, but to no avail, Zachary said.
After the dog collapsed, Tameka Zachary managed to flag down a fire truck that responded to a call in the area, and firefighters called for an ambulance, Zachary said.
“I want to thank (EMS paramedic) Kenneth Johnson,” Zachary said. “He tried to calm my nerves and prayed with me all the way to the hospital. And I really thank LaShonda. We still love them even though this happened, and her daughter and A’lexus are still best friends.”
The attack left scratches on A’lexus’ arms, legs and chest. She underwent surgery last week to repair gashes to her face. Doctors told Zachary that her daughter should recover with no scarring.
Although A’lexus frequently went to her friend’s house, she had told her mother that she was nervous that the dog might break its chain one day. The dog happened to be loose in the house when the attack happened.
A’lexus was waiting at the front door, which was ajar, for her friend when the dog charged through an opening in the screen door and jumped on her leg. A’lexus tripped while trying to run inside the house, then the dog pounced on her and began biting her face. Zachary heard her daughters’ screams and ran to the doorway, found a brick and the knife that LaShonda Gatlin had used on the dog, and began trying to free her daughter.
“I thought she was very brave,” A’lexus said of her mother.
“You never know what you can do when it comes to your kids,” Zachary said. “It was by the grace of God. He took over. It wasn’t me.”