11-year-old dog attack survivor continues his road to recovery

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:39 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Grovetown 11-year-old had his seventh surgery Monday after being attacked by three dogs.

Since then, families across the country have raised over $200,000 for Justin Gilstrap.

University of Georgia Head Football Coach Kirby Smart and quarterback Stetson Bennett called and sent gifts to the Dawgs fan. Now he’s sharing his story with us.

Justin’s mom says some days are good, and some are not so good with Justin in the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Through it all, Justin says he’s a fighter.

“I don’t give up. I don’t give up for nothing,” he said.

His road to recovery is a long one but he’s taking one day and one surgery at a time.

“I’m looking to get better and walk again, being able to walk,” he said.

He showed he was able to walk by taking a few steps.

Justin Gilstrap
Justin Gilstrap(Contributed)

“It made me happy,” said Justin. “I was proud of myself to be able to walk again.”

People are seeing his toughness and rallying around him, like two of Justin’s idols: Kirby Smart and Stetson Bennett.

“We were talking about how I was thanking him for the football, and I was just excited to see him,” said Justin.

His goal is to see Bennett in person once he’s recovered.

“My dream is to get out on the field and throw the football with Stetson Bennett,” he said.

He also wants to get back on his bike, which was the last thing he did before he was attacked.

“It makes my leg feel better and I like riding my bike with my friends,” said Justin.

Justin will continue his fight for at least one more month at the children’s hospital, and then his mom says once they’re done in Augusta, they’ll have to go to Atlanta for surgeries.