In the moments after three bull terriers attacked him, 7-year-old Noah Bertrand asked his mother a question:
“Am I going to die?”
”I said, ‘Of course not,’ his mother, Elizabeth Bertrand, recalled Sunday, soon after getting home from the hospital with her son. “But there was so much blood, I really didn’t know.”
Noah is recovering well after undergoing cosmetic surgery at Levine Children’s Hospital and receiving dozens of stitches in his forehead, his mother said.
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The doctors said several times that if I hadn’t been there, it could have been worse. He could have been killed.
Elizabeth Bertrand, discussing the attack by three bull terriers that seriously injured her 7-year-old son
Watching the dogs maul her son on Friday was the most traumatic thing Elizabeth Bertrand says she has ever experienced.
But now that Noah is recovering from the attack, his parents feel overwhelmed by another emotion: gratitude.
“The doctors said several times that if I hadn’t been there, it could have been worse,” Elizabeth Bertrand said. “He could have been killed. … We are very, very lucky in many ways.”
‘I saw blood’
It happened on the 700 block of Rome Court Friday afternoon, as Elizabeth Bertrand was walking her son home from the bus stop.
Suddenly, she said, three dogs appeared and began charging at them.
Before they knew it, the dogs were on top of Noah. Elizabeth Bertrand kicked the dogs and got between them and her son, struggling to pry them off. The dogs bit her, too, leaving her with puncture wounds and bruises on her right arm and leg.
Chung Winston was visiting her daughter in the house across the street when she heard the screams.
“As soon as I came out of the door, I saw blood,” Winston said.
She told her daughter to call 911, grabbed a broom and repeatedly slammed it to the ground next to the dogs, trying to scare them off.
Eventually, the dogs ran off and returned to their owner’s home. The owner surrendered the dogs to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s animal control division, according to WSOC.
It’s unclear how the dogs got loose. Investigators are still determining the appropriate charges.
Noah, a second grader in the French immersion program at Waddell Language Academy, loves building with Legos, playing tennis and reading Harry Potter books. His mother describes him as a “sweet, gentle boy with a very good heart.”
“It seems incredibly unjust that it could happen to him,” she said.
Still, she and her husband, Romain, say they feel profoundly grateful.
Grateful for the hospital workers who went out of their way to ease their trauma.
Grateful to the many neighbors in the Madison Park community who brought food, help and sympathy.
“It was unbelievably touching,” Elizabeth Bertrand said.