Christmas Wishes Pour In For Layton Boy Who Lost Arm In Dog Attack
LAYTON, Utah – Dozens of people have reached out to 4-year-old Austin Brown, who lost his arm in a dog attack earlier this year, to make sure he and his family have a happy Christmas.
With a very large SUV packed full of gifts, Cache Valley business owner Josh Barnett made the special delivery to the Brown home Friday.
“I’m just completely overwhelmed and taken by surprise,” Hope Brown said. “I didn’t think that this many people would care, that it would reach this many people.”
Hope’s son Austin lost his arm in a dog attack last March while he was playing in their backyard.
Since reports first came out about the incident, Brown said she has received many negative social media messages and comments blaming her or Austin, who was only 3 years old at the time of the incident, for what happened.
Barnett noticed the online negativity and decided to step in and help.
“I didn’t know the family beforehand, but I heard about what happened,” Barnett said. “And all I knew is that some poor boy had his hand and arm bit off by some dogs and people were hating on this poor family.”
Barnett initially started up a GoFundMe page for the family to help with their very costly medical bills. Closer to the holidays, he came up with the idea of helping with a Christmas wishlist on Amazon. After a story with Hope and Austin aired on KSL earlier in December, Barnett said support for that wishlist blew up.
“It’s been overwhelming to see how supportive people have been of Hope of Austin, of their family, of the situation,” Barnett said.
On top of that, Brown said many people in the community who recognized her and Austin around town reached out to show their support.
“A man came up and gave me and Austin the biggest hug at the grocery store,” she said. “And just that one trip from after the news story aired, having people come up and support us, like that changed the way Austin perceives human beings.”
Brown said the gifts will remain a surprise, until Christmas morning, but she also said she’ll make sure Austin knows that they came from many people who support him.
“I’m just completely overwhelmed and taken by surprise. I didn’t think that this many people would care,” Brown said. “It’s mind-blowing that people would help a family they don’t know this much.”
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