WARREN, Mich. - The bright smiling face of 5 year-old Kayla Kelly looks very different from what her parents are used to.
Kayla was attacked Friday afternoon while playing at her next-door neighbor's home in Warren. She tripped and fell while walking into the home, startling the neighbor's pit bull. The dog attacked, destroying approximately 70 percent of her face.
Doctor's began facial reconstruction surgery Saturday, but it's going to be a long road.
"If the dog would have went two inches lower, my baby might not be here anymore," said her father William Neal, expressing the same positive outlook Kayla has been displaying since the attack.
Neal shared his harrowing account of what happened after he learned his daughter had been attacked. He was at work at the time and left abruptly to save his girl, armed with a knife.
"I was going to exterminate the dog because it was trying to kill my daughter, and an officer put a gun to my head," Neal explained.
But after police learned he was the father, he was able to see his daughter.
And while Kayla's physical recovery will be difficult, her father is just as concerned about her emotional trauma.
"No matter how many surgeries she has, it's always going to be in her mind," Neal said, fighting back tears. "Just last night in the hospital room we were watching cartoons and there was a cartoon of a bulldog and she looked at me and said 'Daddy please change it.'"
Despite this horrific ordeal, Kayla's spirits remain high.
"It's (Kayla's attitude) helped me get through it. It helped me stop crying," her mom said.
The owner of the dog told Fox 2 he plans to have the pit bull put down. Kayla's family says they have yet to hear from the dog's owner personally.
Kayla's family is asking for financial assistance to help pay her medical bills. If you'd like to help, please click the following link: http://www.gofundme.com/93jemrf8