Fundraiser Held for College Student Attacked by Dogs

Helpers at the fundraiser | Image by Winston Henvey

The town of Coppell held a fundraiser on May 21 for a North Texas student who was attacked by two dogs in December 2021.

According to NBC 5 News, Jacqueline Durand, a 22-year-old UT Dallas student, has already undergone 16 surgeries since the attack. The attack left her “permanently disfigured.”

Jacqueline attended the fundraiser, where she told NBC that she has sought help for her mental health during her physical recovery.

“I often either have nightmares or just random thoughts,” she said. “It doesn’t go away, but I am going through therapy. So, that’s helping. It’s okay to need help. I also want to just say that therapy is not scary, because it’s something everybody can use. Whether it’s [for] PTSD or anxiety or depression.”

Her neighbor, John Campbell, organized the event, which was held at Andy Brown Park Central in Coppell.

“Honestly, I feel like God cleared my schedule for this,” Campbell told NBC 5. “I haven’t had anything to do for work for about a month, and it allowed us to really sink into this to put it together and to do something good for the community. The whole community pulled together for this. It’s really amazing. To know how excited she (Jacqueline) was when this happened was its own reward. It’s amazing.”

He stated that he did not know the Durand family closely before the incident in December but still wanted to help out.

Food was sold during the drive-thru fundraiser, with all the proceeds being donated to the family. There was also a parade of supporters with “#JacquelineStrong” signs, WFAA reported.

“When we didn’t know whether Jacqueline would survive or not, we were trying to figure out as a family how we would be strong for her,” John Durand, Jacqueline’s father, told NBC 5. “When she came out of the coma and started to awaken and be present, we realized that she is being strong for us.”

According to her father, doctors expect Jacqueline’s reconstructive surgeries to take around three years. However, they do not know how many total surgeries she will need.

Jacqueline’s most recent procedure was on May 17. She told NBC 5 that “every surgery is a struggle.”

“I’m trying to recuperate every time that I go through a surgery. Spread home and kindness,” she said. “Hug your loved ones tightly, and don’t take every day for granted.”

Durand told WFAA that his daughter has remained strong throughout her recovery.

“What’s been so amazing has been the fact that she’s been so strong and courageous for us,” he said. “We’re so grateful that she is with us because that was very much in doubt. We are just so grateful for her attitude and the blessings that we have.”

The 22-year-old shared that her dad has been there to support her as she recovers.

“We have a special bond. Before and especially after this. He’s been my number one supporter through it all,” she said.

According to WFAA, city council members, Coppell Mayor Wes Mays, and members of the Coppell fire and police departments attended the May 21 fundraiser.

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