Back in September last year, we were lucky enough to design and install a room for a beautiful little girl named Annabelle. She was suffering from seizures and had to undergo brain surgery. Just to update you, Annabelle is doing really well and making huge progress. We hope her room helped in small part to her recovery and continued growth. Annabelle, we are rooting for you!
Thanks to Annabelle’s mother, we have been introduced to Westley and his family, who will be the second of what we hope is many room makeovers.
Westley is part of a super busy family of six, including Mom and Dad. On our visit to meet the family and take a look at the room I was struck by the general happy, optimistic, and fairly calm feel to the house, even with four kids! Here is Westley’s story, told by his Mom, Nicole:
“On March 21st, I received one of those phone calls that all parents hope they never get. Our family became a part of one off those stories that happen to other people, not you.
We are a busy family of six: myself, a working mom, my husband Nick, a local firefighter, 11-year-old Wyatt, a soccer lover, nine-year-old Westley, a math wiz and sensitive soul, Odin, our threenager, and Elodie, our almost two-year-old wildling. We are always on the go and this particular Thursday was no different. It was spring break; Nick had the day off and was schlepping kids to and from activities while I wrapped up a few projects late after work.
Shortly after 5 p.m. I received a call from Nick. I promptly hit ignore but he called again. Knowing that something was not right, I picked up the call to hear, “Westley has been injured at his friend’s house. The ambulance is on its way. Get here.”
I flew out the door and after what seemed to be an eternity in the car, pulled up to the friend’s house to find Westley being carried out on a stretcher; his head, arm and chest all wrapped up. The friend’s mom was hysterical, and Nick told me Westley had been attacked by their dog.
Not too long after sending Nick and Westley off in the ambulance, I was informed they were being rerouted to the trauma hospital. I finally made it and joined Nick, anxiously waiting for Westley to finish up what seemed like a million X-Rays and CT scans.
He emerged and we headed back to the trauma area. The doctor told us they had been consulting with a plastic surgeon, and Westley may need to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Oakland. He had suffered over 30 puncture wounds to his right arm, shoulder blade, armpit, chest and the right side of his head. The gashes in his head needed to be surgically repaired. One of the bites was so deep and violent that it broke his shoulder blade. Another one broke a rib and caused a puncture wound to his lung. Realizing the severity of the situation, I slowly started to lose touch and I passed out.
to remain strong through the whole ordeal.
His surgery went very well, and they told us his prognosis was good. He was in the hospital for the next three days and we spent the following weeks in and out of the doctor’s office and numerous trips to the plastic surgeon.
The dog was classified as a vicious dog, and a little over a week after the attack was surrendered by the family to be put down.
Most people ask me how Westley is around dogs now. Our first encounter, after the attack, was at our chiropractor’s office where there are two smaller, familiar dogs. We discussed this with Westley prior to going in, knowing we could request the dogs be placed in a different area. When we arrived at the office, the dogs were the first to greet us. Westley promptly squatted down, loved on them and let them give him kisses.
While Westley has since returned home and is 100% back to his normal nine-year-old life, we are still caring for his physical scars and, through therapy, are working on the PTSD that is slowly creeping in around larger dogs. Westley’s resilience, strength and healing, both mentally and physically, continue to astound me every single day.”
We hope that you can
help us, to help Westley
and his family.
We are working on the design plan for him and his brother Wyatt, who share a room.
They were not short on ideas and themes for what they had in mind. And, while that is a challenge, isn’t that part of the fun!
Just like last time, we have set up a Go Fund Me. We will also be planning a fun, fundraiser to help raise the money needed to transform Westley’s room. If you can help by donating to this cause, we would truly appreciate it! Here we go…
Tama Bell Design is an interior design firm with projects in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.