Child victim of racist firebomb attack released from hospital after miracle recovery|
Many in the Czech Republic were shocked and outraged when neo-Nazis
firebombed the home of a Romany family in north Moravia earlier this year.
The family’s youngest daughter Natálka suffered horrific burns in the
attack, and was not expected to survive. So there were scenes of joy on
Wednesday when the two-year-old was released from hospital after eight
months of intensive treatment.
Natálka laughed happily in the comfort of her family’s new home on
Wednesday, a sight many did not expect to see when she was rushed to
hospital with severe burns on 80 percent of her body. In the early hours of
April 19 this year, the family’s small house in Vítkov, north Moravia
was the victim of racist firebomb attack that also left both of her parents
suffering from burns.
Over the last eight months, Natálka has undergone around 20 major
operations. She was given a general anesthetic some 100 times to allow
nurses at the intensive care unit of the children’s department at Ostrava
hospital’s intensive care unit to change the dressing on her wounds.
Three times doctors believed she was close to death, and the fact she has
recovered enough to finally go home has been described as a miracle.
Her mother Anna Siváková spoke to the media on Wednesday.
“My feelings are simply indescribable…I’m just happy that things
have worked out well and we can now go home. As for the doctors who looked
after her, I’d love to give them all a big hug.”
Though Natálka is now at home and playing once again with her three older
sisters, her medical treatment is a long way from over. In fact, she will
bear the consequences of April’s attack for the rest of her life.
The girl’s release from hospital was delayed slightly on Wednesday while
she was measured for special stockings she will have to wear for 23 hours a
day. They are made of elastic and it is hoped the pressure will help her
skin heal enough to avoid at least some plastic surgery. However, it is
expected she will still have to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery.
Her parents will also have a lot to do, as Natálka will need to have
ointment applied to her skin three times a day to prevent it drying and
cracking. She will require a lot of exercise. What’s more, unlike most
children of her age she has not yet learnt to walk, after her eight-month
stay in hospital interrupted her normal development. Doctors say she is
unlikely to remember anything other than her hospital bed.
The four neo-Nazis charged with firebombing Natálka’s family’s home
are unlikely to appear in court before next spring. Three have confessed.
The medical insurer who has covered the cost of the child’s treatment
says it will seek financial compensation from the perpetrators, as well as
money to fund what is likely to be many years of medical care.