‘She never left him’: Parents say 15-year-old babysitter helped save their 4-year-old son’s life after fighting off dog during brutal attack

Here's what we know

FRESNO – A 4-year-old boy is in the ICU after being attacked by a dog.

“He’s very strong and brave,” Cortney Neal said about his son.

Cortney said his son is a typical little boy who loves ice cream and surprises.

On Tuesday, Cortney said a dog got loose in their neighborhood located in Fresno and attacked his son Carson while he was walking with his 15-year-old babysitter and her 7-year-old brother.

“He’s like, ‘the dog was big, dad. The dog was big and black and he dragged me.’ He’s scared of dogs. I think they were trying to run but he froze. He told me he froze. He’s like, ‘I kind of froze, dad,’” Neal said.

The attack was so brutal that the 4-year-old needed stitches in his head, back arm, and two surgeries -- including one to repair nerve damage on his face in an area along the jaw line just below the ear.

Carson remains in ICU because of spinal fluid that’s leaking from a small puncture wound on the back of his head.

“I haven’t seen a tear come out of his eye. I think we’ve cried more than him,” Cortney said.

Carson’s parents credit their son’s 15-year-old babysitter for how she responded. Instead of running away, she stayed with the 4-year-old and tried grabbing the dog by its collar while screaming for help.

“She bravely tried to fight off the dog. She never left him. We couldn’t have asked anything more than what she did,” Cortney said.

The owner eventually pulled the dog off of him. Neal said in spite of how his son looks, he’s in good health and in good spirits.

“We’re grateful,” Cortney said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses for the 4-year-old. for the family.

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