Thursday, April 18, 2024

9-year-old fighting for life after sustaining third degree burns


Doctors in the US are trying their best to save the life of a nine year old girl from San Pedro Town who was burned over the Easter Holiday. Katerin Michel Perez was accidentally injured on Friday, April 3rd at her home in a fire that burned 53% of her upper body. With the help of a few islanders and Yvette Burks from the Burn Victim Mercy Fund, Perez was airlifted to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

While there has been no formal report, The San Pedro Sun understands that the incident happened shortly around 7:30PM on Friday April 3rd in the DFC area of San Pedro Town. According to multiple sources, Perez was being treated for lice with gasoline applied to her scalp when she happened to pass near a lit stove. The fumes from the gasoline ignited the young student, who quickly became engulfed in flames. Despite immediate attempts to assist Perez, she was severely injured.
With assistance from neighbors, the girl was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II and later airlifted in a critical condition to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City. According to Burks, with the assistance of various local and international agencies, Perez was able to be flown via air ambulance to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston. “It took a lot of coordination because it was the Easter Holiday and due to the fact that neither the child nor her dad had the right travelling documents. Fortunately, we were able to make special arrangements to get her and the dad into the US,” commented Burks.Perez and mom
Burks told The San Pedro Sun that through a generous anonymous donor, Perez was able to be flown out on Monday April 6th without any financial cost to the Burn Victim Mercy Fund. “It is very rare to find these types of sponsorship, because air ambulance service to the US can range between US$18,000 to US$30,000. We are happy that she is now being taken care of,” explained Burks.
As to her condition, doctors at Shriners Hospitals, a special burn Center in the US, indicated that Perez received third-degree burns to 53% of the total upper body surface. According to doctors, Perez’s injuries to the arms, hands and face are “especially deep and she is at significant risk.” As it relates to her overall health situation, doctors say she is in  “grave condition” and they are trying their best to save her. “At this point we can only hope for the best and pray that she lives so that her life can be restored,” indicated Burks.
In the process of assisting her daughter, the mother of the child, Carolina Dominguez Meza sustained second degree burns to the hands and face and has been admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition.
Neighbors and other concerned residents on the island are planning a fundraiser on Sunday April 12th. Monies raised will go towards assisting the family with any additional expenses. After the mother is released from the hospital, there are plans of getting the mother to Boston where she can be with her child. Anyone wanting to help or contribute to the cause can contact Miriam Zaldivar at 628-3514 or Susana Eiley at 662-2121.

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