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December 13, 2013

Ga. toddler burned on slide undergoes 8th surgery

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA, Ga. — Since being burned in a freak incident on a slide, little Alyssa Calhoun has undergone eight surgeries. And she’s not done.

But the toddler continues her fight to survive while remaining in a medically induced coma at Grady Memorial Hospital, her mother told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“It’s been 30 something days since I’ve heard her voice, or seen her eyes, or kissed her or touched her,” Alyssa’s mother, Jennifer Lollis, said by phone.

Alyssa, who turns 2 on Jan. 3, was burned over more than 60 percent of her body on Nov. 9 when she went down a slide covered in gasoline outside her father’s Walton County home. Police have not determined who poured the gasoline on the slide, but investigators believe it sparked a blaze that burned Alyssa. Her older sister, Kayleigh, ran to get the girls’ father, likely saving Alyssa’s life.

Since then, Alyssa has undergone numerous skin grafts and faces more before doctors will awake her from the coma, Lollis said.

“They’re very happy with her progress,” Lollis said.

Lollis said she visits Alyssa daily and talks to her, but the sight of her bandaged daughter is often unbearable.

“I think about her constantly, and when I see her I get upset sometimes,” Lollis said. “But I try not to let those feelings get the best of me.”

Her support system of family and friends and her faith have helped her cope, Lollis said. But she doesn’t have the answer when Kayleigh asks when her sissy is coming home. Alyssa will miss Christmas and her birthday, and when she’s done with the initial rounds of surgery, she faces extensive physical therapy as she heals.

Still, Lollis said she and her girls will make it through, even through the uncertainties ahead.

“It will be several years down the road, but God will reveal to us why this happened to us,” Lollis said.

Anyone who would like to help the family with medical costs can visit any Wells Fargo branch and donate to an account in Lollis’ name.

Copyright 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

All Rights Reserved


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