COPPELL, Texas — Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in support of a North Texas college student working to get back on her feet after a dog attack.
Jacqueline Durand, a 22-year-old University of Texas at Dallas student, made national news after being viciously mauled by two dogs in December 2021, eventually sent home from the hospital nearly two months after that.
A police report detailed the horrific attack, which family said left her with 800 to 1,000 bites on her body.
On Saturday, the Coppell native greeted North Texas officials and hundreds of supporters at a drive-through barbecue fundraiser at Andy Brown Park Central in Coppell.
The fundraiser started with parade of elected officials and supporters carrying "#JacquelineStrong" signs with police and fire units.
"I'm still recovering, but I'm glad I got to make it today," Jacqueline Durand said. "I'm speechless with how many people taking the time out of their days to volunteer and to put this together for me."
Jacqueline Durand's dad, John Durand, said the idea for this fundraiser came from two neighbors who recently came and knocked on their front door.
"They said they just wanted to be part of something special to bring the community together here in Coppell to do something for Jacqueline," John Durand. "We have just been so humbled with the outpouring of their support. The support of our neighbors and the support of the entire Coppell community."
Jacqueline Durand just finished her 16th surgery this week. While she doesn't know how many more surgeries she will need as she is expected to have years of reconstructive surgeries and trauma care, her dad said her positive attitude never wavers.
"What's been so amazing has been the fact that she's been so strong and courageous for us," John Durand 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."
Jacqueline Durand pointed right back to her dad as someone who has given her strength as well.
"We have a special bond. Before and especially after this," she said. "He's been my number one supporter through it all."
Coppell Mayor Wes Mays, city council members and Coppell Police Department members and Coppell Fire Department members all came to the event.