An 11-year-old girl from New York who suffered horrific burns after a friend poured boiling water on her during a sleepover continues to make a remarkable recovery.
Jamoneisha ‘Jamoni’ Merritt has been smiling through her healing after leaving Harlem Hospital 16 days after the brutal attack that burned more than 85 percent of her face.
The young girl’s attitude about the horrific incident that would have broken many a spirit, is positively uplifting.
The brave 11-year-old Jamoneisha ‘Jamoni’ Merritt says of the attack: ‘I’m not angry, because I have to be happy, 16 days after her attack
Merritt is handling the scalding water prank injuries she endured with an impressive positive spirit
The girl suffered second degree burns to her face, shoulders and back, when Aniya Grant Stuart, 12, threw the water over her to mimic a prank popular on social media.
‘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,’ she said to ABC7. ‘I started screaming and yelling. At first when I was in the hospital, I was looking sad and stuff, and crying.’
Aniya was hospitalized after trying to kill herself with a knife when she saw the extent of the injuries she had inflicted on Jamoneisha.
Jamoneisha ‘Jamoni’ Merritt was smiling again just 11 days after a sleepover prank gone wrong left her with burns covering more than 85 percent of her face (right)
Despite not being able to go out in the sunlight for extended periods as she heals, she maintains a remarkably positive outlook.
‘Now when I’m home, I just smile, dance and get ready for tomorrow,’ she said to ABC7. She added: I’m not angry, because I have to be happy.’
While Aniya has been charged, Jamoni’s mother doesn’t think its justice enough for her brave little girl. She says she wants two other girls charged as well as one of the girl’s mothers.
‘I just want justice for Jamoni,’ Ebony Merritt said.
Merritt said her daughter will have to be homeschooled for a few months while she continues to heal.
‘Her arm is still raw, it hasn’t healed yet,’ Meritt told New York Daily News last week. ‘And she can’t go outside in the sun.’
‘It’s going to take maybe about six months for all her color to come back in.’
Meritt posted photos on Facebook of Jamoneisha beaming at home on Friday.
Jamoneisha said she is feeling ‘so great’, but her road to recovery will be a long one as she still cannot be out in the sun and will have to be homeschooled
‘Can’t you see the look on her face. She’s in good spirits,’ Meritt wrote in the caption.
‘She’s great she want to thank all of y’all for the love that you showed her.’
Jamoneisha revealed that Aniya and two other friends had threatened to prank her if she fell asleep on the night of August 7.
The girls were having a sleepover at Aniya’s house, but after dancing Jamoneisha felt tired and fell asleep on her couch.
Jamoneisha suffered second degree burns after three friends decided to prank her by pouring the boiling hot water on her body as she slept
She awoke to incredible pain as her face burned from the boiling water.
Meritt said Aniya filled a cup with boiling water before pouring it on Jamoneisha’s head, neck, face and chest.
Aniya and the girls had attempted to recreate the ‘Hot Water Challenge’, a popular prank on YouTube where people film themselves throwing boiling water on friends.
Shernett Panton, Aniya’s mother, said the incident occurred at around 4am.
Following the incident she gave Jamoneisha ice and had her take a cold shower.
Panton told New York Daily News her daughter was retaliating after Jamoneisha threw cold water on her earlier in the day.
‘They always prank each other. My daughter was sleeping and Jamoni poured cold water on Aniya.
‘My daughter was like, “OK, if you’re gonna do a prank on me, I’m gonna prank you back.”
Jamoneisha’s relatives said she was a ‘kindhearted’ girl who thought the others at the sleepover were her friends . She is pictured before the attack
‘But my daughter — I don’t know what she was thinking — boiled hot water and poured it on Jamoni’s face,’ she said.
Jamoneisha said the girls claimed it was an accident and gave her a ‘half-hearted apology’ while telling her to ‘stop yelling and buggin’.
Aniya was reportedly taken into custody afterwards and the case is being handled by family court because she is a minor.
Panton condemned Aniya’s behavior but said: ‘What she did was really wrong, but it’s too much right now.
‘My daughter is 12. Everybody makes mistakes.’
The horrifying incident has also sparked an angry row between the girls’ mothers.
Aniya’s mother claimed Ebony threatened her after the incident.
Jamoneisha received care in the burns unit at Harlem Hospital in New York for 11 days
Ebony earlier shared photographs of her daughter’s injuries online in an attempt to show children how dangerous the prank is.
‘I can’t take it down. I need for these kids to know how serious this is,’ Merrit said.
Jamoneisha’s mother said the other girls had been bullying her daughter and that they often picked on her.
She said her daughter is ‘confused’ and ‘upset’ by the attack.
‘She’s very sad. She’s emotionally messed up. She don’t understand why they did that to her. She thought they was her friends.’
‘I was told that they didn’t like her. And they just been bullying her,’ Merrit told Spectrum News 1.
Meritt believes all three girls and Panton should be arrested.
‘The mother is just as involved as the other kids,’ she told the Daily News.
‘This happened at 4am, but they didn’t come to my house until 5.30.’
‘That means she was there for an hour and a half while they were trying to cover their tracks.’