COOPER CITY (CBSMiami) – Family and friends of a little girl who was severely burned held a fundraiser to help pay for travel to a special burn center for help.
Leilani Lavastida was just 15-months-old when she was burned by scalding water in a bathtub.
More than a year later, her family is using insurance to pay for surgeries to help remove her scars, but the coverage does not extend to the costs of getting to the facility in Georgia.
Leilani’s mother, Natasha Lavastida said her daughter was burned on May 1, 2013 with second and third-degree burns.
The family’s water heater had broken and was to be repaired the next morning. As Natasha Lavastida was preparing to bathe Leilani, she used boiling water in the tub and was going to add cold water to get it cooler.
To prevent Leilani from getting burned by the pot, she it into the other room, but as she did so, Natasha said Leilani decided to crawl into the tub for the very first time on her own, right into the hot water.
“I just rushed her to the ER and really quickly in just a few minutes she had deep second and third degree burns over 35-40 percent of her body,” explained Lavastida.
For nearly two-weeks after the accident, doctors told Lavastida to be prepared for the worst. Leilani survived and healed, however large scars were left on her body.
She had five laser treatments, but Leilani’s family said there was little progress.
As Leilani grew, her family said the scars made it difficult to move and raise her arm. To get the scars removed by surgery, the family will take Leilani to Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia.
Proceeds from a fundraiser at Landlubbers in Cooper City will help pay for the future trips to Georgia and missed work for her parents.
“Landlubbers is always up for helping the community and especially a story like this,” said Adam Yassky. “We do plenty of giveback nights and 15% of whatever sales come in from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m today will go to help the family.”
The family is grateful for help from the community.
“Thank you and appreciation,” said Natasha Lavastida. “It means so much to us because it’s our baby and other people to care about our baby, she’s our princess and the community is like feeling that.”
“The fact our daughter is getting such attention to us it also raises that awareness to let other families know you can do it you’re not alone,” said Leilani’s father, Luis Lavastida.
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