Infant home for the holidays after raccoon attack, outpouring of donations
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF/Fox News) - A four-month-old infant who was viciously mauled and dragged by a raccoon last week in a North Philadelphia apartment has been discharged from the hospital, according to her family.
The moment comes five days after the brutal attack, which spurred an outpouring of donations through the family's GoFundMe during Christmastime.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Journi Black was sleeping in her bed last Wednesday when a raccoon managed to get into the home on North 22nd Street, drag the infant out of bed and attack her.
The GoFundMe has raised more than $25,000, with more than 700 people contributing. Journi's mother, Ashley Rodgers, reportedly said that she was overwhelmed by the support and that people have dropped off gifts for her daughter to help the family celebrate Christmas. The family also says the money will be put toward finding a new, safe place to live.
"I'm good. She's good," Rodgers said.
She also posted a Christmas update on the GoFundMe page with the caption: "Merry Christmas! Thank you all for outpouring of love & support. Baby Journi is enjoying all the gifts You all really know how to make a girl feel special. Peace & Blessings to you and your family on this glorious day!"
Journi was discharged from the hospital on Christmas day.
Rodgers previously told FOX 29 that she had just left the bed Wednesday night to take her 6-year-old son, Jordan, to the bathroom when the mauling happened.
MORE: Father of infant attacked by raccoon gives emotional interview
"She was laying on the floor -- across the room -- blood all over her face and her PJs," Rodgers said.
"I thought it was a nightmare when I heard over the phone. My heart dropped. I didn't know what to say, what to think," father Samuel Black, said.
The baby was rushed to the hospital where she received 65 stitches in her face. Doctors said the baby's recovery could take up to a year.
Rodgers moved her children to the one-room apartment a few days before the vicious attack. Tenants in the building have previously complained about a raccoon infestation. Rodgers said the apartment, which cost $375 a month for rent, was all she could afford for her family.
"It needs to be shut down. Everybody needs to leave out of there," Rodgers said.
Rodgers said she intended to seek legal action following the attack.
"It is [the landlord's] responsibility. There's no reason an animal should have gotten into the house with minors," Samuel Black, the girl's father, said.
On North 22nd Street, neighbors complain of a raccoon infestation. City records say the property is owned by Jihad Simpson. Tax documents show $23,000 in back-taxes are owed, but the city says Simpson is in a payment program and up-to-date.
According to City Licenses and Inspections, Simpson has no license to rent and told L&I he does not.
Animal control searched the area for raccoons a day after the attack. Calls to Simpson have not been returned.