NAPLES, Fla. (WBBH/NBC) From being shy to hugs around the room, 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher is a new person without her eye patch.
"It's the first step on a long journey," said North Naples prosthetic eye specialist Raymond Peters.
That journey started in April when the Mississippi toddler almost died after a vicious dog attack. A couple of months later, she's a walking miracle on the mend.
On Friday, Peters successfully implanted a prosthesis in Victoria's right eye socket. Creating a prosthetic eye is a five-step process and Peters says Victoria will go through 15 to 20 prosthetic eyes before she's done growing.
"I have been told it could be 200 surgeries in her lifetime," said Janet Kellum.
Kellum is a retired nurse who volunteered to chaperone Victoria Wilcher and her mother to Naples this week.
"Just being a part of this, this family all I can say is very loving and makes you feel very good," said Kellum.
Outrage spread across the country when Victoria's grandmother claimed they were kicked out of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant because of Wilcher's scars. KFC said the story wasn't true, but that hasn't stopped the outpouring of support.
"My interest and focus was on helping this baby. So I didn't even give it a thought," said Peters.
Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Stile said he will help rebuild Victoria's right lower eyelid. The doctor also plans to diminish her scars and try to restore feeling in part of her face.
"We're kind of working against the clock in terms of trying to have a lot of this done before she's school-aged," said Dr. Stile.
All the help from Dr. Stile and Peters is free for a Wilcher.
"If it helps them,, it's a gratification you just can't get everyday," said Peters.
Courtesy: NBC Newschannel