Tracy Dowdy Fain (left) with her two children, Ethan Fain and Jessica Dowdy. (Credit: Family photo)

Mom of Gwinnett boy mauled by dog declared brain dead after sudden stroke

Just eight months after a vicious dog attack left a Gwinnett County boy with a mauled ear, his mother suffered a massive stroke and brain aneurysm that left her brain dead, the family said.

Tracy Dowdy Fain took her son, Ethan Fain, to a post-operation appointment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston last Monday, her daughter and Ethan’s sister, Jessica Dowdy, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Doctors have been working to restore the 7-year-old’s ear after dogs attacked him last Christmas Eve. 

MORE: Gwinnett boy loses ear, gets 300 stitches after neighbor’s dogs attack him

“Ethan was getting stitches out for the first reconstructive surgery and (Tracy) was complaining about a headache,” Jessica Dowdy said. “All of a sudden, she lost all movement in her body and she passed out.”

Jessica wasn’t there at the time, but she said her mom’s husband and sister told her what happened.

Jessica Dowdy and Tracy Dowdy Fain (Credit: Facebook)

If Tracy hadn’t already been in a hospital she never would have survived, Jessica said. An ambulance rushed her from CHOA to Emory, where Tracy underwent emergency brain surgery, Jessica said. 

Doctors discovered not only a massive aneurysm but also that Tracy had a stroke. Swelling in her brain worsened until Monday, when the family was informed Tracy might be brain dead.

“They are doing a series of tests to make sure she’s brain dead, but the past two showed that she is gone,” Jessica said Tuesday night.

Doctors later confirmed Tracy was brain dead.

The 24-year-old ran through the events of the past week, trying to process everything. The fact that her mother is an organ donor provides some peace, she said. 

If Tracy’s organs are viable for others, she will donate and the family will get a list of recipient donors, Jessica said.

“Her body is still here, but her soul is gone,” Jessica said. 

Ethan doesn’t know. 

The boy has been seeing a therapist since the dog attack in his 73-year-old grandmother’s backyard, where the neighbor’s dogs pulled Ethan from a tree and tore at his face and ears.

MORE: Woman whose son was mauled livid over dog owner’s charges

Jessica said her brother’s father is trying to figure out what to tell him about his mother and taking the therapist’s advice. 

Jessica doesn’t think Ethan should see his mother in the hospital. 

“All he knows is mommy is sick and the doctors are trying to make her better like they made him better,” Jessica said.

The family is trying to raise money for Tracy’s medical and final expenses. They set up a fundraising campaign online at GoFundMe. 

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