Teen burn victim making good recovery

2016-11-16 13:17
Sean Smith (Netwerk24)

Sean Smith (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - A 16-year-old Pretoria boy who sustained third-degree burns in a freak accident in October says he is still in a bit of pain but is recovering.

"I'm sleeping well, tannie," a bashful Sean Smith said on Tuesday via cellphone from the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

"I'm still in a bit of pain, but I'm getting injections," he said. He's also started walking a bit, Netwerk24 reported.

One thing he knows, he said, is that while he was sedated after the accident, people prayed for him.

READ: Please take the pain away, burnt teen screamed

Sean has been moved from the intensive care unit to a general ward.

His mom Mé-Lissa and family friend Amoré Jooste on Tuesday pushed him to the hospital's cafeteria in a wheelchair, where he ate and drank at a table, still dressed in his hospital gown.

This was the first time he'd been out of the ward since the accident, after initially having been admitted to the Netcare Unitas Hospital in Centurion.

He enjoyed the outing very much, said Jooste.

Shirt caught fire

Sean Smith in his hospital bed in the ICU at Netcare Unitas Hospital in Pretoria. (Supplied)

Sean, from Mountain View in Pretoria, was injured when his shirt caught fire after a friend lit a cigarette next to it.

His shirt had been soaked with petrol after he tried to fix an oil leak on a car.

He sustained third-degree burns, with the most serious wounds on his hands, chin and neck. His back, torso and arms were also badly burnt.

Jooste said Sean has had at least six operations. The skin on his face has healed well and the scabs have come off. He hadn't needed a skin transplant on his face, she said.

The skin on his neck and hands, which had been severely burnt, has also healed well, she said, adding that skin grafts would not be needed there either. However, skin transplants would be necessary for his chest and under his arms, Jooste said.

Health24: Burns

Skin for this would be taken from his thigh.

The operation can't be done now, she said, because of an infection in the skin on his chest. That has to clear first and samples will be taken from the infected skin to monitor its progress.

Jooste said Sean was looking and feeling much better.

The Smiths don't have medical aid and Jooste says R2.2m has been collected to pay for his medical bills. However, it's still not enough, she said.

Jooste said some of the accounts had been written off and an anonymous benefactor had paid another account.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  good news  |  accidents

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