’By the grace of God’: Barrow teenager survives attack by pit bulls

Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, is being treated for her injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital, where she faces multiple surgeries, her family said.
Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, is being treated for her injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital, where she faces multiple surgeries, her family said.

Credit: Family photos

Credit: Family photos

With her music playing in her ears, 15-year-old Joslyn Stinchcomb loved to take walks through her Barrow County neighborhood, sometimes several times a day.

But a recent walk nearly ended her life before she could start her freshman year of high school. On Friday, Joslyn was attacked by two pit bulls that 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. “By the grace of God, she didn’t pass away.”

Deputies shot one of the dogs so that it would release the teenager. Both pit bulls 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 pit bulls’ owner, 29-year-old Alexandria Torregrossa, was arrested and charged with reckless conduct. The investigation into the attack remains under investigation, Smith said.

Joslyn, who was covered in blood and lying face down on the curb, was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery.

On Monday, the teenager’s family said she faces more surgeries and months of recovery from numerous injuries. Joslyn had been looking forward to playing flute in the Winder-Barrow High School marching band and singing in the chorus. Instead, her family is grateful she survived.

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“There is still so much that we don’t know about her injuries, but we know that God knows and can help heal her,” a family member posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Joslyn. “We continue to be overwhelmed by the love, support and prayers that we are receiving.”

In a heartbreaking message Monday, the family said Joslyn is on a ventilator following surgery to repair her trachea. The teenager’s left ear was reattached, but it’s unknown if she will regain use of it. Her vocal cords were also damaged, and lacerations, bruises and scrapes cover her body.

“She also has asphalt in the tips of her fingers where it appears she tried to claw her way away from those dogs,” the family said.

Joslyn underwent another surgery Tuesday, according to her family. A PayPal account under the hashtag “StayStrongJoslyn” has been created to assist the family with medical costs.