Biloxi High student Jaxon Ronsonet is finally leaving Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans for rehab, but his mother said he is experiencing intense phantom pain in the leg he lost to a pit bull.
Mom Tiffany Ronsonet was packing the 15-year-old hero Tuesday morning for the move to Children’s Hospital inpatient rehabilitation, also in New Orleans. Jaxon hefted his 5-year-old brother, Bentley, onto a trash can after a neighbor’s pit bull bit the younger child Nov. 10.
The dog then latched onto Jaxon. He was rushed to Ochsner, where doctors thought they might be able to save his left leg. But an infection set in. When they operated to remove the leg below the knee, doctors found one of the pit bull’s teeth embedded in Jaxon’s bone. They explained to his parents that the tooth had caused the infection.
Tiffany Ronsonet has kept friends and family updated on the boys’ progress on Facebook. She posted a video Monday morning of Jaxon walking.
She told the Sun Herald that Bentley had his last trip to wound care Monday for his right foot, which the pit bull split open from the top of his big toe to his ankle.
Both boys have nightmares about the attack. Jaxon calls out in his sleep, “Somebody please get the dog off me,” or “Don’t hit the dog with the shovel again.”
The neighbor was trying to get the pit bull off Jaxon. Every time she jabbed the dog with the sharp end of a shovel, Jaxon told his mom, the pit bull latched on harder. Witnesses said the attack lasted about 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, Bentley is still staying in the house next door with his grandmother and aunt. Their mom said the family will be unable to return to their apartment in Biloxi because they lived on the second floor and Jaxon will not be able to navigate the stairs.
The Ronsonets are looking for a handicapped-accessible house to rent.
Jaxon will spend two to three weeks in rehab, so Ronsonet hopes to have both boys home by Christmas. Jaxon can’t be fitted for a prosthesis for about six weeks, when his surgical wounds should be healed.
The Ronsonets also hope to buy a handicapped-accessible vehicle. Jaxon’s father, Rosco Ronsonet, has returned to his construction job. Tiffany Ronsonet is on family medical leave from her job as a cashier at Food Giant in Biloxi. A GoFundMe page had raised $7,560 by Tuesday morning for medical expenses.
Jaxon is working hard to overcome his injuries, his mom said.
“Other than the fact that he’s in horrible pain,” she said, “he’s been getting up every morning and doing his physical therapy. I really don’t know why he’s in so much pain. They’re doing everything they can to control it.”