MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – He was only 1-year-old when he was attacked by a vicious pack of dogs. Months later, he’s still standing and inspiring others.
We’re hearing from this little boy’s family about his recovery and the impact he’s had on hundreds of thousands of followers online.
For the Rodriguez family, the best time is time spent together.
These precious memories they’re making now were almost taken from them eight months ago.
“It was like a warm Sunday in February, which is kind of rare,” said Jose, JJ’s dad. “So the kids were playing outside.”
That beautiful day was soon interrupted by what felt like a nightmare, screams coming from the family’s backyard.
“The girls are running in too and they’re all screaming, you know, ‘The dogs took JJ, the dogs took JJ,'” Jose recalled.
JJ, who was just one at the time, was being attacked by their neighbors’ dogs.
Jose jumped in to fight them off.
“He was so calm for JJ, saying, ‘You’re okay, you’re going to be okay,'” said Jose’s mom Cassandra. “Me, I’m like, screaming, screaming and like, on the floor, just repeating he’s dead. My baby’s dead, you know? I told him goodbye and I love him so much.”
Little JJ’s injuries were so severe that his mom thought he didn’t make it.
But JJ beat the odds and came home from the hospital two months later.
His family has documented his recovery on Instagram where he now has more than 200,000 followers.
The now 2-year-old is inspiring others as his wounds, both physical and emotional, begin to heal.
“Obviously when we go out, people stare or people look,” said Cassandra. “In the beginning, JJ, he would get really intimidated by his face. He’d cry. Now if you’re staring at JJ, you better be ready because he’s going to come up to you and say hey. If he notices you staring at him, he’s going to, he’s going to walk up to you or something and greet you. He thinks, oh, that person’s looking at me. That’s a new friend. Hi.”
Now the family is saving up what they can in hopes of going on a trip to Disneyworld on the anniversary of the attack.
“I just feel like JJ deserves that,” Cassandra said. “Our daughters deserve that. To have a different memory on that day.”
You can follow JJ at @babyjjsjourney on Instagram here.
The family also has a GoFundMe for medical bills.