Dog attack victim's family honor the man who intervened

By Chad Weber

July 4, 2013 Updated Jul 4, 2013 at 9:36 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- "Thank you very much," said Willie Jackson, grandfather of Sionna Barber.

It was a day of gratitude, as the family of 10 year old Sionna Barber gathered at their annual Independence Day celebration to thank the man they say helped save their loved one.

"I just want to say thank you for saving my life," said 10 year old Sionna Barber as she presented Terry Burnside, Sr. with a trophy.

"Your welcome," replied Burnside.

Last Friday, Burnside and his son were working on a nearby house when they heard the screams.

Together they were able to get the dog off of her.

"I'm happy that they were working on the house because I could of probably been dead if they didn't," said Sionna.

Sionna spent a day in the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries including a gash in her forehead.

"It's just exciting to see," said Burnside. "The last position I saw her, she was in the fetal position attacked by a dog. So to see her the way she is now, definitely a good thing."

The family said the trophy was donated by First Place Trophies in Peoria and in addition everyone chipped in what they could to help honor the man they say saved their loved one.

"All the family involved, everyone here contributing to that because it is a blessing she is here," said Sionna's grandmother, Jeannette Jackson.

As for Sionna, she seems unscathed by the whole experience, not even admitting to bravery.

"Wouldn't say that I'm brave," said Sionna, "a little scary."

Burnside said the incident still plays through his head daily.

He said he was just in the right place at the right time.

"Just instinct," said Burnside. "Seeing a little girl in desperate need of some help. I would of done it for anybody."