ROCK HILL — Surgeons will attach things in Kenny Allens head he says are shaped like kidney beans.
Because Im bald, doctors will inject a balloon-stretch apparatus filled with a saline solution into his scalp to expand the hair tissue in the Rock Hill boys head so itll enclose a thin layer of skin made bare from the teeth of a 2-year-old pit bull six months ago.
The surgery, which forces the Allen family to haul several bags and suitcases filled with Kennys clothes to a Charlotte hospital at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, is the first of many doctors hope will restore the hair on the 12-year-old boys scalp.
After the balloons installed, itll have to be pumped with the solution every week for the next several years, said his mother, Becki Allen. Eventually, its a process the Allen family will be able to do from home.
Nevertheless, the 12-year-old Rock Hill boy is reluctant.
I dont want to have to do it, he said.
He says hes perfectly fine the way he is, Becki Allen said.
His bald spot, surrounded by a bundle of light brown hair, makes me look like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood, he said.
And, like a character from tales of Robin Hood, Kenny jumped from chairs, ran in and out of the house and performed flips that many thought would be nearly impossible months ago.
Kennys in good spirits, Kenneth Allen said at the familys Ridgecrest Road home. Hes happy all the time.
Attacked by neighbors dog
On May 30, Kenny, then 11, walked over to a neighbors house to borrow a blender. When he arrived in the yard, Dallas, a pit bull mix its owner said had never been aggressive, jumped at Kenny, lodging its teeth into the back of his head.
Kenny managed to free himself and ran home. His father and several neighbors helped Kenny apply pressure to the wound while they waited for an ambulance.
Four inches of Kennys scalp was gone.
He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he underwent six hours of surgery. Doctors tried to reattach his scalp. It didnt work.
So doctors began a comprehensive skin grafting and reconstruction process they expect will continue for the next several years.
Wednesday is just another step.
In the meantime, the seventh-grade Saluda Trail Middle School student holds no qualms about his appearance.
For Halloween, he wore the hockey mask of Jason, the mass-murdering psycho with a disfigured head from the Friday the 13th movies.
We could hear teenagers say, Man his head is cool, Becki Allen said laughing. They couldnt figure out how we go this head to look like that.
Go get attacked by a pit bull kids and stay in school, Kenny suggested.
His family laughed.
He is so funny, said his grandmother, Sue Wilson, who with her husband, Jim, traveled from Florida for Kennys surgery. They plan to stay in town till after Thanksgiving.
At their Florida home, the Wilsons have planted gardens for all eight of their grandchildren. Kennys is a turtle garden and its almost finished, Sue Wilson said.
Noting her grandsons intelligence, she remembered when he was only several months old and stayed away from a bottle, choosing to use a cup to drink like the big kids.
Years later, Kenny takes advanced classes and calls himself the smartest kid in his history class. He plans to go to Harvard University.
At school, he plays soccer with friends.
He doesnt fret about missing weeks of school. Hes already cleaned out his locker, and wants doctors to extend his three-day stay in the hospital to at least a week for observation. A teacher will meet with him at home while hes recovering.
Hes starting to go places, Becki Allen said, adding that her sons slowly overcoming his fear of most dogs.
But not all dogs.
The Allen family went to Food Lion recently, Becki Allen said, where they saw a dog that frightened Kenny. Dogs that bark from car windows when their owners leave them in store parking lots make him nervous.
He reads the newspaper in his journalism class and started watching Fox News Rising as a toddler. He keeps up with the weather.
Its a 30 percent chance its already raining, he said as a slow drizzle started outside.
Big wrestling fan
Yet, its wrestling thatll get him going for hours on end.
He sat on his couch and played a World Wrestling Entertainment video game while maintaining a conversation with Casey Moore, his aunt, about bonsai trees and broken guitars. He also insisted that his father had just hours before tried to run a wild turkey off the road on the way home from the doctors office.
I love you man, but it was a buzzard, Kenneth Allen said smiling.
Since the attack, community support has swelled for the Allen family, who lost Kennys paternal grandmother the week of the dog attack. A week before the attack, Kenneth Allen suffered a heart attack. The family had also purchased a new car. A week didnt pass before someone slammed into it.
Yard sales and community wrestling matches have lifted their spirits. Critics who call Kenny a whiner hurt his feelings.
After learning of Kennys story, WWE officials sent one of their biggest fans he thinks so, at least memorabilia that included action figures, books, magazines and autographed posters.
Two weeks ago, he attended a WWE match in Charlotte, where he sat in seats designated for handicapped customers and watched CM Punk hit Ryback in the wrong place.
Kenny can sound off WWE stats from well before his birth. Camping out in his familys living room while his bedroom is remodeled for his post-surgery recovery, Kenny flipped through a WWE companion book, finding quotes and pointing at black-and-white pictures of men and women clad in tights.
His grandfather, Jim Wilson, joined him in trading trivia about Sid Vicious and other wrestlers.
Papa knows everybody, Kenny said about Wilson.
Ric Flairs the champion, Kenneth Allen said.
Kenny, the WWE expert, was quick to correct him: No, hes not.
Jonathan McFadden 803-329-4082