WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- 4-year-old Christopher Ranly was playing during a family holiday get-together when a pit bull grabbed him by the head – turning his Christmas vacation, into a nightmare.
"I heard somebody holler out, 'Oh my God, that dog's got a child in his mouth.' I looked up and I seen it was my nephew," said Tony Ranly, Christopher's uncle. "The dog had him by the head was shaking him and had shaken his shoes. One shoe was about 7 or 8 foot in one direction, the other was slung in the other direction. He was literally shaken like a rag doll."
Tony rushed over as soon as he saw what was happening.
"I got the dog off once and he escaped out of my hands."
The pit bull attacked a second time forcing more family members to get involved.
"We got the dog off the second time at which case my mother grabbed Christopher by his feet -- pulled him out from underneath, and got him to safety," Tony said.
Kimberley Ranly, Christopher's grandmother says he was in shock while the attack went on.
"He wasn't crying he wasn't doing anything," Kimberley said. "It was horrible -- Horrible."
The pit bull belongs to a family member and has a history of biting. Kimberley says they were told the dog had been put away, so they allowed Christopher and other children to roam freely.
"It was lots of kids running around," Tony said. "If he had been unattended, he would not be alive."
The dog tore into Christopher's scalp but did not penetrate his skull. Christopher has 30 staples in his head, stitches, drainage tube and a broken thumb.
"Every adult has had nightmares, dreams -- the children have had nightmares and dreams," Kimberley said.
Despite the pain Christopher has to endure Kimberley says, "We just thank God that we still have him. It could have been a lot worse."
Christopher lives in Greenville, Tennessee with his mom, dad and little sister. Christopher and his family came to visit for the holidays. Doctors say he will not be able to travel until January 5th. In the meantime, his Christmas presents will be waiting for him in Tennessee.
Initially, the pit bull's owner said the dog had been given it's rabies shots -- but, the Ranly family says the owner is unable to provide documentation to prove that.