Recovery Ongoing for MN Boy Burned by Lighter Fluid

Updated: 08/16/2013 2:05 PM By: Todd Wilson

About two months ago a little boy was playing with his three older brothers in Wabasha County.

There were matches, lighter fluid and a burning lunchbox. One of his brothers tried to stomp it out, but it splashed burning fluid all over the 3-year-old's body.

KSTP checked in with the family to see how the little guy is recovering.

Sitting with family at a local park in Rochester, Kelsey Shumaker talked about how her son Atticus is doing.

"He's a fighter; he's strong. It's not slowing him down a whole lot. He's back to most of his funny little self," Shumaker said.

Shumaker says there are things Atticus has to adjust to. Right now he's in the middle of treatment.

"Therapy is five days a week at St. Mary's for about three hours," Shumaker said.

Skin grafting will be a constant throughout his life. And then there's the plastic surgery he must endure. "He has to have plastic surgery on his eyes. He has to have them lifted back up," Shumaker said.

Plus plastic surgery on his lips and chin.

"Right now he doesn't really have a neck or chin, it's all kind of straight down and tight. So they'll fix that," Shumaker said. 

Right now insurance is paying for Atticus' medical needs. But the family is putting together a benefit picnic to help with other costs sure to come.

"We just want to raise funds for his recovery. And to get him back to where he needs to be, to continue being the happy little boy that he is," Shumaker's cousin, Crystal Landherr, said.

Shumaker says she still feels blessed "because he's still here with me today. And my other kids are fine and we have such a strong, tight family."

Shumaker says that when she sits down and thinks about what has happened, she's philosophical about it all. She says it's an accident that can happen to anybody and it just happened to them.

Click here to watch our previous coverage on this incident.