Family of dog attack survivor thanks hero neighbor

The attack by two large dogs stunned the neighborhood that witnessed it,except for one man who rushed in to help.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A vicious attack by two large pit bulls cost 32-year-old Mario Stewart his left foot, but not his life, thanks in large part to the heroic actions of a man he never met. 

On Sunday evening, with Stewart still laid up in a hospital bed, his family met for the first time with Artie Brooks. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Man attacked by pit bulls in SE DC still in ICU

Brooks rushed down the block to stop the attack, drove the dogs away and tied a tourniquet around Stewart's leg.

After all of that, Stewart's family wanted to deliver a message. 

"For us as a family and his fiancé and his daughter, we just want to make sure that we touch that man's hand and say thank you because if not for him we might be sitting in the funeral home," Stewart's father, Anthony Berman said. 

Brooks lives down the block from the apartment Stewart had come to the neighborhood to view on the day he was attacked. He rushed, shirtless and unarmed, into the fray to drive off the two dogs tearing at Stewart's foot.

The dogs have since been put down and according to D.C. Police their owner cited for not keeping them properly contained. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Man attacked by pit bulls in SE DC still in ICU

Stewart's recovery has been slow. Doctors amputated his left foot last week. His mother said he has had seven surgeries so far, with more to come. 

"He had his moments where he broke down," Berman said. 

Berman said his son's faith, his fiancé and young daughter have kept him going. 

Stewart, a Navy veteran between jobs, has months of rehab ahead of him. His family has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for his treatment.  

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