The story of Victoria Wilcher, the 3-year-old toddler who was reportedly turned away from KFC because of her facial scars, has a happy ending: KFC is donating $30,000 to assist with her medical bills, the company announced on Sunday.
Victoria, who was attacked by three pit bulls in April, was kicked out of a KFC with her grandmother after complaints that her facial scars were upsetting customers. Victoria sustained two broken jaws, a broken eye socket, and lost her right eye in addition to being paralyzed on the right side of her face, among other injuries during the attack. Her grandmother, Kelly Mullins, had taken Victoria to the doctor and stopped at the KFC for soft food she thought the child could chew when they were asked to leave by staff at the restaurant.
Mullins said the toddler cried all the way home.
The story was first posted Thursday on the “Victoria’s Victories” Facebook page, with a picture of the toddler and text reading “Does this face look scary to you?”
KFC spokesman Rick Maynard released a statement on Friday that they were launching an ongoing investigation into the claims, and that they had a “zero-tolerance policy” towards any kind of hurtful or disrespectful actions aimed at their guests. In an email on Sunday, Maynard confirmed that they were investigating, and that the company was going to donate $30,000 to her medical costs. Maynard said in the email to the AP that:
As soon as we were notified of this report on Friday, we immediately began an investigation, as this kind of hurtful and disrespectful action would not be tolerated by KFC. Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, we have apologized to Victoria’s family and are committed to assisting them. The company is making a $30,000 donation to assist with her medical bills. The entire KFC family is behind Victoria.
The number of fans on the Facebook page, “Victoria’s Victories,” increased from 250 to 55,000 by Monday, and in another announcement posted on Friday, Dick West offered to throw a big “KFC picnic” for Victoria and her family. West, of West Quality Food Services in Laurel and another Mississippi KFC franchise owner, told the AP:
I am sure KFC will make their finding public as soon as the facts are in. In the meantime, I offered to treat Victoria to a picnic because regardless of the outcome of the investigation, she has been thru more than any little girl should and I wanted to give her a special treat.