'It was horrifying', says mom of little boy who fell into bath of hot water

2019-07-11 17:01
Johnny in the ICU. (Getty/Gallo Images)

Johnny in the ICU. (Getty/Gallo Images)

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A couple from Vanderbiljpark, Gauteng, are still in shock after their baby fell into a bath with hot water on Monday.

Johnny Pienaar (18 months) is currently in the intensive care burns unit of the Life Cosmos Hospital in Emalahleni, Witbank. He suffered severe burns on over 75% of his body.

Dernica, Johnny’s mom, spoke to YOU on Wednesday and says the accident happened in the blink of an eye.

"I don’t wish this on any parent. After we pulled him out [of the bath], he was shaking and even stopped breathing. He was in so much pain."

Monday evening was an evening like any other in their home, the 22-year-old mother says.

"I was cooking dinner at about 18:00 and Johnny was playing at my feet with a yellow toy car. Johnny’s grandparents, my husband’s brother and his wife and my eldest son, Hannes (5), were all there."

Her husband, John (26), was in the bathroom to run a bath for the kids. The couple had a new geyser installed about two months ago and the water was boiling hot as the geyser was set at its hottest setting. They hadn’t gotten around to adjusting it yet.

Johnny is currently in the ICU. (PHOTO: Getty/Gall

Johnny in the ICU. (Getty/Gallo Images)

"There was only a little water in the bath when I called my husband to help me with something. I don’t know [exactly what happened] but in those few seconds Johnny must’ve left the kitchen."

The next thing she recalls was hearing Johnny’s blood-curdling screams.

"Johnny hadn’t even been able to get his leg over the edge of the bath, but that night he did. He got himself upright and my husband swept him up and took him to the other bathroom to get him into cold water.

"He’d been wearing his warm winter clothes and as my husband took his pants off, some of the skin came with it. It was horrifying."

Dernica says Johnny was in excruciating pain. She and John rushed him to the nearby Midvaal Private Hospital in Vereeniging.

"I think we drove there in seven minutes, but it took a while for the sedation to kick in. At 03:00 on Tuesday he was transferred to this hospital in Witbank by helicopter."

She says the Witbank hospital is better equipped to deal with Johnny’s burn wounds. Only his right arm, one ear and part of his face weren’t burnt.

"It’s first- and second-degree wounds but we’re worried it might get worse as they clean the wounds. Our biggest fear is that it gets infected."

On Tuesday Johnny’s wounds were covered with synthetic skin to prevent infection and help him heal faster.

"Our medical aid is paying for his treatment. We can only ask for prayers so that Johnny fully recovers."

A Facebook page has been set up for those who wish to follow little Johnny’s progress.

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