A distraught mother is determined to warn residents about the consequences of “dangerous dogs”, as her injured son prepares for months of reconstructive surgery.
Aiden Noel, 19, of Tithe Farm Road, Houghton Regis, was bitten on November 19 by a Jack Russell. As he bent down to stroke it, the dog tore the skin from the tip of Aiden’s nose.
The injured warehouse worker was taken to A&E at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, before facing a 40-minute transfer to the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, where he was kept in for three days to have the wound cleaned and made less jagged.
Aiden now has a ‘forehead flap’ after having an operation on March 18 which saw the surgeon use skin from the forehead (above the eyebrow) and pivot it vertically to replace missing nose tissue.
His mother, Lisa Watts, 37, claims: “I got the call from Aiden’s friend saying he was in A&E, and I was shocked when I got there and saw how bad it was. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster - he’s only a young lad. “The surgery and forehead flap is quite gruesome and obviously its been quite shocking for Aiden’s little brother to see him like that, but both his siblings, Callum 17, and Harvey, 11, have been really supportive.
“In court the dog wasn’t classed as being a further danger to the public - but if it had bitten a two-year-old it would have been a different story!”
On November 19 Aiden had been going to visit a friend who was the lodger of the dog’s owner.
Lisa claims that Aiden had been round a few times before and met the dog. She is angry that its actions have caused Aiden to have surgery with months out of work, and up to three more operations to heal his nose.
The first operation, in around four weeks, will see a surgeon detach the flap from the forehead once its given the new nose skin enough blood supply.
Lisa claims: “Aiden may then need two other operations. One to thin down the skin on his nose, and another if hair starts to grow, as the new nose skin has been taken from the forehead hairline. He would need laser surgery to remove the hair.
“My son has lost confidence since the accident. When he was out after his surgery in March people were pointing and asking him questions.
“I’m quite disgusted to be honest - if a dog does something like that, in my eyes it’s classed as dangerous.”
Before the accident, Aiden had been working at Superdrug Warehouse, Dunstable, as a temporary Christmas staff member, previously working at Nisa Local.
Now, recovery can’t come quick enough for Aiden, as he hopes to go back to work in order to pay for driving lessons.
Luckily, Aiden’s dad, Barry Noel, 46, lives just down the road and has been trying to cheer his son up.
Lisa claims: “The owner had to pay more in court costs than to Aiden!
“My son will be out of work for months and I want to let people know what has happened. We keep travelling to London for appointments. ”
Earlier this month a man was fined a total of £385 including compensation to Aiden of £150 when he appeared before Luton Magistrates.
He was not disqualified from owning a dog and the dog was not considered a further danger to the public.