A toddler who suffered horrific burns to almost half of his body after his house caught on fire has been ‘recovering incredibly well’ after it was feared he wouldn’t survive.
Elijah Whitton, two, has been fighting for his life in hospital since May 1 after his family home on the NSW-Victoria border was engulfed in flames.
In an update to Elijah’s GoFundMe page, set up to help the family pay for his mounting hospital costs, sister Alyia Whitton said the toddler was finally turning a corner.
‘He is recovering incredibly well … his swelling has reduced and his skin has improved,’ Ms Whitton wrote on Tuesday.
‘His breathing tube has been removed and he is now breathing on his own. Both of his eyes have opened.’
Elijah Whitton (pictured) is slowly on the mend as he fights for his life after he suffered burns to 42 per cent of his body in a house fire on May 1
‘He is recovering incredibly well … his swelling has reduced and his skin has improved, Alyia Whitton (pictured with the toddler), wrote in an update to his GoFundMe page
Elijah is also adapting well to some skin grafting surgeries to his face and lower body.
‘He is still getting used to the new changes, he has been a bit more agitated since coming out of surgery, which is expected,’ Ms Whitton said.
Police said the house fire was sparked by the family’s clothes dryer leaving Elijah, who was trapped inside the home, to sustain third-degree burns to 42 per cent of his body.
When the two-year-old (pictured) was pulled from the blaze his left leg was still on fire. He was airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where he remains
The toddler was airlifted 566km to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne after the blaze destroyed the family home.
Emergency services were called to the Ruby St property in the border town of Wentworth just after 3pm on May 1 as fire engulfed the home.
Ms Whitton said Elijah’s left leg was still on fire when her mother pulled the trapped toddler out of the house.
‘Elijah was trying to make his way out of the fire, when our mother pulled him further away from the fire,’ Ms Whitton told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Elijah’s left leg was still in flames when my mum put his leg out with water nearby.’
Although the cause of the fire is still unknown, it is believed that the family’s clothes dryer (pictured) malfunctioned, causing an ‘explosion’
Surgeons placed the two-year-old in an induced coma and rushed him into wound debridement surgery – a procedure that removes dead skin from burn areas.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire but believe the family’s clothes dryer malfunctioned, causing an explosion.
A nearby jerry-can full of petrol also ignited, escalated the ferocity of the fire.
Ms Whitton said her 12-year-old brother Jacob Alassani, who was at home during the incident, heard the explosion and alerted their mum.
‘He instantly understood the severity of the house fire and went outside and took the safety precautions of turning the electricity off,’ Ms Whitton said.
Elijah was scheduled for a third wound debridement surgery on Thursday, where doctors will continue his skin grafting procedure.
The boy is expected to remain in hospital for several months.
Ms Whitton set up the GoFundMe page to assist her family with ongoing medical bills and Elijah’s future rehabilitation costs.
‘Elijah is considered a trauma patient and we have been told that it is only the beginning of his journey to recovery,’ Ms Whitton wrote earlier this month.
‘As it is still early days into his recovery we ask if Elijah could be kept in your thoughts and prayers.
‘We would greatly appreciate any form of donation to help with Elijah’s medical bills and his recovery including physical and emotional rehabilitation.’
The fund has received more than 500 donations to date, smashing past their $30,000 goal.
Elijah’s big sister, Alyia Whitton (pictured bottom right) set up a GoFundMe page to assist her family with ongoing medical bills and future rehabilitation costs for Elijah (pictured being held, bottom left)