UPDATE: Girl severely burned on New Year’s Eve is ‘awake and alert’


A 14-year-old girl burned on more than 95 percent of her body during a New Year’s Even bonfire appears to be making progress.

Layne Chesney is speaking in full sentences, drinking water and beginning physical therapy, according to her mother.

“Layne is just amazing and a miracle is truly unfolding right before our eyes,” Leigh Ann Chesney, Layne’s mother, posted Monday on a Facebook page devoted to her daughter.

Girl, 14, burned by bonfire called ‘the bright spot on the day’

Layne Chesney was sitting around a bonfire in suburban Fort Pierce on Dec. 31 when she picked up a can of gasoline to fuel the fire. The can exploded in her hands and covered her in flames, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Two other people also received burns and were briefly hospitalized.

For weeks after the accident, Layne was heavily sedated, but she began communicating verbally toward the end of January.

When her family arrived Sunday at her room at Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami-Dade County, Layne “Got a smile, and she blew us all fish kisses and mouthed ‘Love you’ to all of us,” her mother posted on the “Pray for Layne Chesney” Facebook page.

Layne was “alert and awake” all of Sunday and engaged in a physical therapy session using a tilt table that allowed her to get to a near-standing position.

“It was definitely not in her comfort zone, but she didn’t resist,” Leigh Ann Chesney wrote. “No complaints of pain … ”

On Sunday, Layne passed her “swallow evaluation” and can now have ice and sips of water, her mother said.

“Best day yet!” Leigh Ann Chesney messaged a friend on Facebook.

Since the fire, Layne has endured several surgeries and is scheduled for more while her doctors dealt with concerns about infections. A family friend told CNN that Layne burned every part of her body except the bottom of her feet.

“She is a miracle and I thank God, the doctors, the nurses, and all the staff for all they are doing for Layne,” her mother said.

A GoFundMe account created for Layne has raised more than $55,000 as of Tuesday morning.



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