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Burned Toddler Recovers In Time To Go Home For Holidays

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Burns covered eight percent of 20-month-old Zoe's body after a home-cooking accident.

Burns covered eight percent of 20-month-old Zoe’s body after a home-cooking accident.

sandramcneill Sandra McNeill
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Sandra McNeill...
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CBS Detroit (con't)

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MACOMB TWP. (WWJ) - After a tragic home-cooking accident left her severely burned, a Macomb Township toddler is leaving DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan just in time for the holidays.

It all happened in a moment in time that Nicole Neumann has wished ever since that she could take back. She was in her Macomb Township kitchen, draining the noodles she had just made.

“The colander must have been unsturdy, because it tipped and it tipped right onto my daughter. And my poor innocent sweet little baby who just wanted me to finish her story just had her life change in a matter of seconds,” Neumann told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill.

Zoe, 20 months, suffered third degree burns from the water and noodles over eight percent of her body, including her head, neck and arms. Zoe has undergone over a week of painful treatments, including an operation on Thursday.

“Her surgery lasted about two and a half hours, and it was two and a half hours of pure hell,” said Neumann, “But, there were no surprises and everything went very smoothly.”

Neumann is overjoyed that Zoe left the hospital Friday in time for the holidays, but she’s having a hard time forgiving herself. The images of that fateful day play out in her mind each time she closes her eyes at night. But she is not alone — Children’s Hospital sees over 230 severe scalding cases each year.

Neumann said she wants other parents to heed her new policy: Never let children in the kitchen while you are cooking.

As for Zoe, her prognosis is good. A hospital burn expert said children burn more easily than adults, but their skin also heals better and is less likely to scar.

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