“I was so hot; I was so scared and sore! I didn’t realise what was happening.”
These are the words of 11-year-old Esona who lives in Worcester with his grandmother and cousins. Esona was rushed to the Emergency Centre of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital from the local hospital in Worcester after his pajamas caught alight from the flames of a candle.
“It was a Saturday and I was at home playing outside with my small cousins. At around 6 o’clock we washed and changed into pajamas to watch TV. My cousins then went to play outside again but suddenly, the electricity went off and I lit a candle and walked to the door to call my cousins to come inside because it was cold and getting dark. As I closed the door, I felt hot and looked down to see my shirt was burning in the front. The flames moved quickly around my back and bottom and then it caught onto my arms. I was so scared and afraid and sore! I ran outside to roll myself into the sand shouting – our teacher told us to do this if we ever caught on fire. We were all shouting.”
Esona was taken to the local hospital, sedated and then rushed to the Emergency Centre at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. “I don’t remember much as I was asleep most of the time, but I do remember waking up in ICU and seeing my grandmother and family standing here and praying – that made me so happy.”
It’s painful when they change the dressings but the nurses talk to me so that I do not cry. I have been at the Hospital for 3 weeks and the doctors and nurses love me, they take care of me, so that I can play soccer again.”