19 surgeries later, Barrow teen attacked by pit bulls to leave hospital

Parade planned to honor 15-year-old Joslyn Stinchcomb
Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, will leave the hospital Saturday morning. A parade is planned in her honor in Barrow County.

Credit: Family photos

Credit: Family photos

Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, will leave the hospital Saturday morning. A parade is planned in her honor in Barrow County.

Since July 31, her home has been hospital rooms. But 15-year-old Joslyn Stinchcomb is a fighter.

When she returns Saturday to her Barrow County home, she’ll be greeted by a parade.

“Day 83 and the best news yet!!” a family member posted on Facebook. “Yes! She’s going to be discharged.”

For the teenager and her family, it’s a day they know might never have happened. As Joslyn walked in her neighborhood on a Friday afternoon in July, she was viciously attacked by two pit bulls. The dogs grabbed her hair, ripped off her scalp and left ear, and damaged her trachea, her family said. A neighbor heard screams and called 911, according to a Barrow sheriff’s office report.

“By the time we got there, she was fighting for her life,” Sheriff Jud Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution days later. “By the grace of God, she didn’t pass away.”

Deputies shot one of the dogs so that it would release the teen, and both animals were later captured and euthanized, Smith said. The dogs were able to escape through a back door that had been left open, the sheriff said. The dogs' owner, Alexandria Torregrossa, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct.

Critically injured, Joslyn was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery, the first of many she would undergo. She was later moved to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for additional surgeries and treatment. Her family has said she has extensive nerve damage to her face, with paralysis on the left side.

“She has had 19 surgeries, and although this has been the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through, it has also been a journey that has strengthened our faith and brought us love, encouragement and prayers from people not only all over our community and state, but from countries all over the world,” her family posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Joslyn. “We are humbled and thankful for each one of you.”

Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, has undergone 19 surgeries since being attacked by two pit bulls July 31.

Credit: Family photo

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Credit: Family photo

Joslyn was looking forward to her freshman year in the Winder-Barrow High School marching band. Instead, the band dedicated the season to the injured flute player. Every band member has worn #StayStrongJoslyn on the sleeves of the shirts worn for performances.

On Saturday, the community is asked to line the streets for a parade set to begin around 10 a.m. at the Ingles in Auburn. The route is expected to be Atlanta Highway into Winder, then onto North Broad Street and ending at Winder First Baptist Church.

“Joslyn, you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to heal,” Barrow County Emergency Services posted on Facebook. “We are so glad to have you coming back home to Barrow County.”