Children's Health

11-year-old suffers severe burns in sleepover prank

The 11-year-old girl who suffered second- and third-degree burns to her face and shoulders during a sleepover prank allegedly put on by a school bully is making a remarkable recovery. Jamoneisha “Jamoni” Merritt, who was sleeping when scalding hot water was poured on her on Aug. 7, said she “can’t be angry,” ABC 7 reported.

“I have to be happy,” Merritt, who is recovering at home after spending 11 days at Harlem Hospital, said.

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“Now I’m dancing and listening to music,” she told The New York Daily News.

Merritt’s mother, Ebony, said her daughter will likely miss the start of school as her elbow has yet to heal, and she cannot spend extended periods of time in the sun. She said it's too early to tell if she will need a skin graft, Fox 5 NY reported.

“It’s going to take maybe about six months for all her color to come back in,” Ebony told The New York Daily News.

A 12-year-old girl was taken into custody after the incident, which was allegedly inspired by the “Hot Water Challenge” made popular by social media

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“When I fell asleep all I felt was hot water dripping down on my face, and they put me in a cold shower and threw ice on me,” Merritt told ABC 7. “I started screaming and yelling. At first when I was in the hospital, I was looking sad and stuff, and crying.”

Ebony wants two other girls and their mothers charged in the incident. She claims it took 90 minutes for the girl's parents to call 911. 

"I would not have been as angry if the mother came to me as a mother and told me exactly what happened the right way," Ebony told ABC 7. "Instead of covering it up and have my daughter sit there for an hour and a half." 

“I just want justice for Jamoni,” she told ABC 7. 

On Aug. 24 the family held an anti-bullying cookout in her honor.