A BOY whose lip was “left hanging by a thread” in a vicious dog attack has met his heroes after Hearts stepped in to help him get over the ordeal.
Jacob Donaldson’s family feared for his life when he was rushed to hospital with blood gushing from his mouth and deep bite wounds in his arm, but last week he was given the day out of a lifetime at Tynecastle.
The 11-year-old Bonnyrigg football ace, who trains with the SFA academy, left with a smile on his face and a pile of signed football kit under his arm.
Jacob and his father, Kevin, 38, were invited to watch training, had photos taken with the team, and were even served lunch by club legend John Robertson.
“It’s been really great,” said Jacob. “I got a signed top from all the players and some pictures with Gary Locke.”
But the best part of the day was having his photo taken with his favourite player, Ryan Stevenson, who also signed a pair of boots for him.
The visit happened after club manager Locke heard about Jacob’s ordeal from a friend who coaches Bonnyrigg Rose FC’s boys’ club. He said: “He told me just how fortunate Jacob was after the dog attacked him.
“He’s been pretty low, and I thought it’d be great if he could come in and see all his heroes and put a smile back on his face, as I’m pretty sure he’s been through a horrendous experience.”
Watching his son photographed with the Hearts boss on the Tynecastle turf, father Kevin, who is a caterer for the NHS, recalled the horror of the day Jacob was attacked.
“At the hospital, it was horrific,” he said. “His lip was hanging by a thread. I never even saw his arm. My wife couldn’t even look. She had to go back out of the room. I was warned – if you’re squeamish, don’t look.
His son was rushed to the Sick Kids hospital for emergency assessment, then to St John’s Hospital for three-and-a-half hours of surgery.
“My main concern was making sure Jacob was OK. I was there all night with him.”
Mr Donaldson was full of praise for the doctors, saying: “In the hospital, they were excellent. Brilliant. I can’t praise them enough.
“He’s been really brave. All the doctors and surgeons said so. And he’s been fine with our dog since.”
The young Jambo has not been able to return to school as he still has 50 stitches in his arm, but he will have plenty of stories to share. And he also expects his team will return to the Premiership next season.
A club spokesman said: “We were horrified when we heard what had happened to Jacob. Knowing he was a big Hearts fan, we invited him to meet the players. We just hope that he gets over the trauma of the experience, and we hope that the day at training has helped with that.”