Video: Brave girl's thanks to air ambulance crew and doctors after dog attack
LITTLE Rhianna Ireland said thank you 620 times to an air ambulance crew.
The icing on the cake after her dog attack ordeal was the chance for the four-year-old to show her gratitude to the crew and doctors who cared for her.
Rhianna donated £620 to the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance charity thanks to a series of cake sales.
She baked cakes herself, along with her mum Leanne Ireland and aunt Gemma Ireland.
The cakes sales were held to raise funds for the air ambulance which took her to hospital in Hull within minutes of being mauled by an American Akita dog on August 9.
Thanks to her swift delivery by air into the hands of plastic surgeons, Rhianna's recovery has now been complete.
However, her family feared the worst when the neighbour's dog attacked her in a rear garden of the neighbour's home, in Langton Drive on the Nunsthorpe Estate, Grimsby.
She was grabbed and shaken around like a rag doll, her family told the Telegraph at the time.
Rhianna required a total of 187 stitches on her scalp and treatment for a bite to her hand.
Now there is no evidence of the attack on her head and only a slight scar on her hand.
Rhianna's grandfather Thomas Ireland, 47, said: "She is not even frightened to go up to other dogs."
Rhianna and her family, however, have had to move away from the home where the attack took place.
The four-year-old was never able to settle there because of the trauma of the attack and living near to where the dog lived.
Although the dog was destroyed the day after the attack, Rhianna moved in with her grandparents until her family could be moved to Crosby Road, Grimsby, just before Christmas.
Her grandfather arranged for a series of auctions to be held at Nunsthorpe Community Centre with the help of Councillor Norma Lincoln. He also hosted a psychic night with medium Lola White, which raised about £300.
Mr Ireland said: "Everyone has shown fantastic support, especially Councillor Lincoln."
"The surgeons have done a remarkable job. Even though she had 187 stitches you would not know it to look at her. I am just glad it was not her face."
Rhianna said: "Thank you to all the people who helped me. They are all special people and I want to do is say thank you to them, especially the air ambulance crew and the doctors."
She said she had enjoyed playing with her toys over Christmas, including a toy helicopter just like the air ambulance.
She presented the cash to Sandra Phipps, from the charity which runs the air ambulance.
The retired nurse said: "We are very grateful because without such donations there would not be an air ambulance. It takes £1.8 million a year to keep it going. We only get donations like Rhianna's to keep it going. The speed with which Rhianna was taken to hospital has aided her recovery as the tissue on the scalp was still viable and helped her to heal a lot quicker."
The Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance covers a total of 3,000 square miles and can fly at a speed of 160mph.
Anyone wishing to support the charity which runs the air ambulance can contact fundraisers for Lincolnshire, on 01522 548469 or e-mail pledges to enquiries@ambucopter .org.uk