Monday afternoon, 10-year-old Hunter Kilbourn had the opportunity to meet the firefighters from Station 82 in Antioch who responded to the August 11 incident where Kilbourn was attacked by a pit bull.
This was the first meeting since the incident where Kilbourn and his family received a warm welcome of hugs. They then received a tour of the station followed by a short ride in the fire engine.
During the meeting, the Kilbourn provided the firefighters with a tub of licorice as a way of saying thank you. The firefighters provided Kilbourn with a fire shirt and hat—and surprised him with a firefighter Lego set.
The Lego set was symbolic of the ambulance ride as firefighter Mike Boehmer shared that he was trying to offer a distraction to keep his mind off the injuries.
“What I really tried to do was get his mind off everything, because he had a lot going on,” said Boehmer, “So I was asking him questions like, ‘What do you like to do for fun?’ He told me he loves Legos. Ever since that day, I’ve been thinking I’d love to get him a Lego set from everyone here at the department. So that’s what we did.”
Melody Ralls, Hunters mother, shared that the hat was perfect because he is not allowed to be outside without a hat on as he recovers in order to keep his skin grafts from being overexposed to the sun. He also will need additional surgeries in the future.
According to Ralls, Hunter is only in school half-day as he is not yet cleared for full day by his doctors.
From the photographs below, you can see he has effects of the bites to both sides of his face and back of the head—including his arms while his ear was reattached. He still has a scar on his left cheek while he is suffering from nerve damage
Still, Kilbourne called the meeting “awesome” and thanked the firefighters by saying “”All I know is they’re awesome, and they helped me a ton. So they’re really good people!” said Hunter.
Contra Costa Fire Captain Eddie Gonzales was ecstatic at seeing Kilbourns progress.
“We go on these calls a lot, and they don’t always have happy endings like this. I’m glad to see he’s doing well. It’s good for his healing process and ours as well,” said Gonzales.
Battalion Chief John Kipp called the meeting “a great day” and explains happy endings like this it what makes the job worth it.
As for the dogs in the attack, they are still being held by Animal Control and there will be a hearing Sept. 26 to determine their fate.
It should also be pointed out that American Medical Response (AMR) and Antioch Police also played a huge role in the incident and they should not be forgotten as well. We are being told the EMT was Scott Murphy and the medic was Deborah Dauer.