Mom warns about dangers of leaving candles unattended after daughter loses fingers and toes in a fire


A mother of two from Indiana in the US has spoken out about the danger of burning candles indoors after her daughter had to have several fingers and toes amputated following a fire in the holiday apartment they’d been staying in.

Little Kenzie was on a weekend away with her family in December last year when the apartment below theirs burst into flames after an unattended candle too close to a sofa set it alight.

The frightened six-year-old hid in her bedroom until she was discovered by firefighters but by this point, she’d sustained 68% burns to her body and was immediately rushed to hospital.

She remained there for four months and had several surgeries including skin grafts and amputations of several fingers and toes.


The little girl’s mother, Jessica (42), a former chef, said she’d received a phone call from Kenzie’s father telling her there’d been a fire in the apartment below and that their child had been rushed to hospital.

"Obviously, I got to the hospital as quickly as I could and as soon as I walked in to the ward I knew how serious this was – she was black from head to toe and evidently in so much pain,” she recalls.

"She was then airlifted to a children's hospital, and it was here that I found out she had 68% burns on her body and that she would need multiple surgeries.”

After being admitted to hospital, Kenzie had to have several biweekly surgeries to remove all the dead skin and replace it with healthy skin from her thigh.

"Unfortunately on her third surgery, Kenzie had to have her beautiful blonde hair removed as the burns had covered her scalp also,” Jessica said.

"But the most devastating news came before her fourth surgery where we were told that she’d have to have her fingers and toes on the left side of her body removed, as they’d completely died.”


"This was one of the hardest things for her to understand, as she suddenly woke up and couldn't figure out where her hands and fingers had gone – which completely broke my heart."

In January, Kenzie took her first steps since having her left toes removed before being moved to a rehabilitation unit in February – and was finally discharged from hospital on 12 March.

"Kenzie is a very brave girl and has made amazing progress since leaving hospital – we are all so very proud of her,” Jessica said.

"One of the sayings that’s kept her going is, 'I'm beautiful, I'm strong, I've walked through fire – what's your superpower?”

"But despite how well she’s done, her life is going to be altered forever – we worry that she's not going to develop like a normal girl, and her amputations will cause difficulty with everyday tasks.”

Source: Magazine Features


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