Pit bull attack victim now an amputee
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Ten days after a vicious pit bull attack, 61-year-old Michael Cook is still fighting for his life. He remains unconscious in the ICU at University Medical Center, where his left arm was amputated Friday. Doctors made it clear to family members that a surgery scheduled Monday on his right arm may have the same results.
Cook's brother Gerald Flores says he now knows Cook's life will never be the same. He was a handyman and a musician. Cook played the bass guitar and was active in his church's Christian rock band. He had been playing since he was a teenager.
"He'd play at teen dances around town and friends would say 'that's your brother'", said Flores, "and it was just something to see I'm very proud of him."
Family members have been sharing stories of his music and praying for recovery, but Flores says signs of progress are coming slowly. When Flores arrived Friday and entered his room and spoke his name, Cook turned his head. Doctors and nurses have seen him respond to simple commands, indicating he may be able to hear and understand what is going on. Cook is also breathing without the assistance of a respirator more often.
"The most challenging part was not being able to get here right away and wanting to know that he's going to survive," said Flores, "I'm really optimistic that he's going to come out of this and down the road it will take all of us to pull together to help him."
Cook was attacked by his own pit bull August 3rd. Since then the pit bull was scheduled to be euthanized at the request of family members. It is still unclear exactly how the attack occurred, but family members say the dog had recently been neutered.
"It makes you wonder but I don't want to stereotype that particular dog as something that's always dangerous," said Flores, a pit bull owner himself, "We'll only know when he's awake to tell us what happened."
Flores says his brother is also a talented singer. While they are taking his recovery day by day, he is optimistic that Cook will wake up and eventually continue sharing his music.