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'Still hard to think about that day': Valley mother recalls infant's dog attack

The toddler is lucky to be alive but is still recovering from face-altering injuries.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Joseph Coti had only taken a couple of steps away from the dinner table when a dog attacked him at a family party in Glendale nearly a year ago.  

The 1-year-old was fighting for his life.

“Biting him over and over. Just on the face,” Joseph's mother, Careli Garduno, told 12 News. 

The pit bull-like dog broke Joseph's jaw, ripped his cheek, damaged his eye and ripped off half of his nose.

Glendale police said the dog, which belonged to another family member, was put down after the attack.

Credit: KPNX

For the first time, his parents are sharing the extent of Joseph’s injuries publicly.

“It’s still hard to think about that day,” Garduno said. 

Joseph was on a ventilator for four days in critical condition after the attack.

Now, after several surgeries and nearly a year later, his parents said he is still haunted by it.

“He has dreams about it wakes up," Garduno said.

His mother worries about how his appearance will affect him.

“I took him for a walk the other day and some kids were saying mean stuff to him,” Garduno said. “I just hope that he's a strong kid and is confident."

As his parents cope with this new reality they hope a prosthetic nose will help him. 

However, Joseph is so young that it's not clear when he will be physically ready to get the prosthetic nose.

“I just want his nose fixed,” Garduno said.

A Gofundme was set up for Joseph's reconstructive surgery and has raised over $6,600 since April 6.

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