Burnt 7-year-old opens eyes after first phase of treatment in Texas hospital

Seven-year-old Atiya Shaniya Persaud
Seven-year-old Atiya Shaniya Persaud

Seven-year-old Atiya Shaniya Persaud, who walked out of her burning Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home with third degrees burns over 97% of her body, opened her eyes for the first time after a successful surgery.

The child was taken to the Shriners Hospital, Galveston, Texas, where she underwent surgical operation to remove damaged tissue from her body.

Persaud’s treatment, however, continued and the Saving Hands Emergency Aid (SHEA) announced on Thursday that the child opened her eyes for the first time.

“She saw and recognised her mom and she is in good spirits,” SHEA said. The child is scheduled to undergo another surgery today (Friday) to graft her face and legs.

SHEA had collaborated with the Rotary Club of Demerara and successfully raised funds for the little girl to be transferred for overseas treatment. The cost is estimated to be about US$42,000, which is equivalent to GYD$8,807,400.

Persaud was in her Lot 101 Mon Repos North home asleep with her brothers when a candle, which was left alight, caused a fire.

However, in a bid to save their lives, the child’s brothers escaped, leaving her inside the house.

Persaud awoke to find her legs on fire but bravely walked out of the building.

She was rushed to the hospital where she remained in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until she was medevacked to the US.