Ryan Young Brooklynn Khoury
In early November 2020, pro skateboarder and model Brooklinn Koury’s cousin in Gilbert, Arizona invited her to visit her for a relaxing trip filled with girl time and hanging out by the pool.
So on November 3 last year, the cousins got their nails done and ran some errands. They were in the car heading home when Khoury took a selfie. Aware of a small pimple near her mouth, she cropped her lip from the photo.
Back at her cousin’s house, Khoury was standing in the kitchen when she went to pet her cousin’s dog, an 8-year-old blue-nosed pit bull named Diesel, whom she had met several times before.
“I was like, ‘You’re such a good boy.’ He literally jumped out of a sitting position like on my face,” she recalled to PEOPLE in the latest issue. “I was standing and he was sitting – he literally popped up. And he was literally hanging – literally like arms, legs hanging from my lip. And my first instinct was like, ‘Oh my God, get on the floor with him, hold his head, go wherever he goes.”
Every time he fired, she moved with him. “Finally, I felt a release. And then, something flew up and hit the wall,” she recalled.
Brooklyn Khoury’s Instagram Brooklynn Khoury
She stood up, took a deep breath before realizing she had tasted blood: “I looked down and my whole shirt was just blood – like blood, blood, blood. blood everywhere,” she said.
She saw a pink bump on the floor and – realizing it was her lip due to the pimple she had just cut in her photo – she wrapped it in a towel and went with her cousin to the emergency room.
Despite their quick response, surgeons were unfortunately unable to save Khoury’s upper lip.
Later that week, she posted a selfie from his hospital bed, writing “kiss someone you love”. She decided to document every step of her healing journey because, even in her skateboarding posts, she always showed the good and the bad, including the falls.
“Life isn’t perfect,” she says. “Instagram is a place where people can hide who they really are.”
But she refuses to do so – and thinks that in life, like in skateboarding, you learn from your mistakes.
Khoury admits that “the first time I saw my face after the operation, it was scary”. She continues, “But I was like, ‘Okay, time to love this new version of myself for now.’ I want people to know they’re not alone if they go through something like this.”
For more from Brooklynn Khoury, check out this week’s issue of PEOPLE.
Last year, the skateboarder – who loves pickles and overalls – spent a lot of time trying to be happy. She always surfs, skates and hikes. She loves hanging out with her pomchi (a Pomeranian mixed with a Chihuahua) named Pickles. And her and her girlfriend, dance moms the former Chloé Lukasiak, adopted a kitten named Lady.
She and Lukasiak met a few days before his attack. They had a date with Starbucks coffee, then carved pumpkins together.
“I just fell so hard,” Khoury said. She remembers worrying about their relationship while she was in the hospital. “I was like, ‘What if she thinks I’m not pretty anymore?’ “
But Lukasiak stayed by her side and encouraged her, and every day tells her how beautiful she is.
“She’s just amazing,” Khoury says. “She is the best.”
Brooklyn Khoury’s Instagram Brookline Khoury and Chloe Lukasiak
RELATED: dance moms Alum Chloe Lukasiak and Brooklinn Khoury Kiss in New Photos: ‘My Favorite Human’
Khoury recently underwent the first of five reconstructive surgeries to rebuild her upper lip. Her surgeon describes the process as an art project. The surgery consisted of a skin graft and a tissue graft from his arm.
“It looks like a baby shark bit my arm and they had to sew up my skin,” she says.
For now, Khoury says, “I’m learning to love myself. I want to inspire as many people as possible.”