Teen who nearly died in freak accident back in school

2017-02-02 11:48
Sean Smith who burnt badly last year when his shirt caught fire in his school uniform. (Facebook)

Sean Smith who burnt badly last year when his shirt caught fire in his school uniform. (Facebook)

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Pretoria - The teenager who almost died after sustaining third-degree burns in a freak accident, went back to school for the first time on Monday, Netwerk24 reported.

Sean Smith, 17, suffered severe burns in October last year when his shirt, which had petrol on it, caught fire. 

A friend had lit a cigarette and an ember set Sean’s shirt alight. He had burns to his face, neck, torso, arms, and hands. 

Sean’s mother, Mé-Lissa, said when she went to school to pick up Sean’s brother Devin, the children surrounded the car just to see the teen. 

“They came to greet Sean every day, shaking his hand, hugging him and saying they are glad to see him.”  


Mé-Lissa said one evening Sean had been depressed and told her it would have been better had he died in the accident. In response, she showed him messages on the “Hero Sean” Facebook page. 

“He calmed down after I showed him Facebook posts and WhatsApp messages from people who I don’t even know.” 

Mé-Lissa said she felt pain every time Sean suffered.  

“Whenever he was in pain, it felt as if someone had stabbed me in the heart with a knife. The agony to say to him he can’t give up fighting. You are my anchor. You can’t leave me. That was the most difficult of all.” 

Sean is in Grade 10 at Pretoria’s Suiderberg School.  

He has to wear special clothing on his torso for a few hours a day to put pressure on the burn wounds to prevent scars. Mé-Lissa says it doesn’t cover his neck.  

“He has to use a gel on his neck for the skin to heal. If they don’t get the gel, a plastic surgeon will have to admit him to hospital and give him a cortisone injection in theatre.”

Mé-Lissa says Sean is still trying to find out what happened during the accident as he can’t remember anything. 

Sean Smith wears a pressure garment to prevent scarring. (Facebook)

Sean in hospital (Supplied)

Read more on:    pretoria  |  good news  |  accidents

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