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Le Flore County boy life-flighted to hospital after animal attack



A 7-year-old was life-lighted to a Tulsa hospital on Monday after his family found him in the yard near their home in Wister. He was severely wounded from an animal attack.Christopher Downey arrived at St. Francis Hospital in critical condition Monday evening. He was put on a ventilator. According to the Le Flore County EMS director, there were lacerations all over his body and extensive injuries to his neck, in particular. Downey’s mother, Audrey Downey, told 40/29 News her son is off a ventilator as of Wednesday but still has a tracheostomy to keep his airways open due to swelling. Downey said doctors might send him home with a feeding tube in the next couple of weeks. “We are managing all of the lacerations all over his body,” Downey said. “Right now, he can ‘lip talk.’ But his vocal cords aren’t there. Like I can’t hear him talk. He’s able to point to letters to spell out a word.”Christopher was visiting his grandmother’s house near Wister at the time of the attack, his mom said. He was on a routine walk with her three dogs in the yard, which is near the woods. “He wanted to go explore, and I guess he went a little too far from the house,” Downey said. “And then the dogs came back up to the house, and Christopher wasn’t with them.”That’s when she said her brother-in-law found him in the yard, critically hurt. His family called 911 and met a medical chopper at the nearby baseball fields. “There were bites all down and scratches all on his body, so at first we thought it was the dogs,” Downey said. “Then they thought it was a mountain lion and then possibly a bear.”The three dogs are 8-month-old poodle and German Shepherd mixes. Downey said Christopher has been around those dogs since they were eight weeks old. She said when he visits his grandmother’s house, they typically sleep with him. This leads her to question if some other animal attacked her son, she said.”Did he get attacked and the dogs tried to save him? Or was it really the dogs?” Downey said. “I want to ask him all these questions, but I don’t want to get him upset.”The dogs are currently being held by Poteau Police Department Animal Services. Jim Craig with Le Flore County said they have to wait until Christopher can tell them whether or not it was those dogs that attacked him before they can decide what to do next. Downey said she has to take at least a month off work.Players from the Wister baseball team are collecting monetary donations for the family. One player’s dad told 40/29 News it’s because they had to end their practice early Monday so the helicopter could land at the fields. The team heard what happened and decided they wanted to help. Audrey Downey’s coworker has set up a GoFundMe to help support medical costs. “I’ve never had so much support, especially being in a new town and not knowing over half of these people that are reaching out to me,” Downey said. “The community has been very supportive, and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

A 7-year-old was life-lighted to a Tulsa hospital on Monday after his family found him in the yard near their home in Wister. He was severely wounded from an animal attack.

Christopher Downey arrived at St. Francis Hospital in critical condition Monday evening. He was put on a ventilator. According to the Le Flore County EMS director, there were lacerations all over his body and extensive injuries to his neck, in particular.

Downey’s mother, Audrey Downey, told 40/29 News her son is off a ventilator as of Wednesday but still has a tracheostomy to keep his airways open due to swelling. Downey said doctors might send him home with a feeding tube in the next couple of weeks.

“We are managing all of the lacerations all over his body,” Downey said. “Right now, he can ‘lip talk.’ But his vocal cords aren’t there. Like I can’t hear him talk. He’s able to point to letters to spell out a word.”

Christopher was visiting his grandmother’s house near Wister at the time of the attack, his mom said. He was on a routine walk with her three dogs in the yard, which is near the woods.

“He wanted to go explore, and I guess he went a little too far from the house,” Downey said. “And then the dogs came back up to the house, and Christopher wasn’t with them.”

That’s when she said her brother-in-law found him in the yard, critically hurt. His family called 911 and met a medical chopper at the nearby baseball fields.

“There were bites all down and scratches all on his body, so at first we thought it was the dogs,” Downey said. “Then they thought it was a mountain lion and then possibly a bear.”

The three dogs are 8-month-old poodle and German Shepherd mixes.

Downey said Christopher has been around those dogs since they were eight weeks old. She said when he visits his grandmother’s house, they typically sleep with him. This leads her to question if some other animal attacked her son, she said.

“Did he get attacked and the dogs tried to save him? Or was it really the dogs?” Downey said. “I want to ask him all these questions, but I don’t want to get him upset.”

The dogs are currently being held by Poteau Police Department Animal Services. Jim Craig with Le Flore County said they have to wait until Christopher can tell them whether or not it was those dogs that attacked him before they can decide what to do next.

Downey said she has to take at least a month off work.

Players from the Wister baseball team are collecting monetary donations for the family. One player’s dad told 40/29 News it’s because they had to end their practice early Monday so the helicopter could land at the fields. The team heard what happened and decided they wanted to help.

Audrey Downey’s coworker has set up a GoFundMe to help support medical costs.

“I’ve never had so much support, especially being in a new town and not knowing over half of these people that are reaching out to me,” Downey said. “The community has been very supportive, and I couldn’t thank them enough.”



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