(WMC-TV) – The young girl attacked by a pit bull is home after spending two days at LeBonheur Children's Hospital.
Makala Parker, 9, has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but her family says they are blessed it is starting now.
Stitches and scars remain in the back of the 9-year-old's head where the neighbor's pit bull would not let go.
"He started biting my ear and then I fell and he started biting my head and swinging me around," said Makala.
Makala had gone to the neighbor's house to play, but when her friend opened the front door, the dog attacked.
Family members say she has grown up around the pit bull and its owner, who is a family friend.
"He was upset, crying, he said he was feeling to go to the hospital right then, he said he was sorry, well it happens," said Makala's grandfather, Jeff Hughes.
Hughes forgives the dog owner, but he is not shy about his thoughts on the dog, which is now in quarantine in Marshall County.
"There ain't no doubt in my mind what needs to happen to that dog, it needs to go to doggy heaven," said Hughes.
Before Makala and her mom could go home, they had to swim through a sea of balloons. The balloons are evidence of the support from the community that makes this family feel blessed to leave this hospital.
"I was very distant from everybody and I felt like this has brought me closer to people," said Makala's mother, LeAnn Ricman.
Makala is expected to be okay, but her grandfather said she might need surgery to repair some of the scar damage.