7-year-old burn victim laid to rest
Seven-year-old Shaniya Persaud, who succumbed at the Shriners Hospital in Galveston, one month ago in Texas was given an emotional farewell on Sunday.The child whose leg and fingers were amputated had suffered severe burns about her body and had to be taken overseas for treatment with the hope of staying alive.Shaniya PersaudSaving Hands Emergency Aid (SHEA) in a Facebook post confirmed that Persaud’s remains arrived from the US and were handed over to her parents for the funeral.A funeral service was held at her Lot 101 Mon Repos North, East Coast Demerara home after which the body was taken to the Good Hope Cemetery where she was interred. Guyana Times understands that scores of people went to pay their last respects.On August 5, the now dead child and her brothers, Akeem Persaud, 9, and Brandon Anthony, 13, were left at home alone as their mother, Samantha Gayadin, attended a wedding in the community. However, the fire, which was later confirmed to be arson, completely gutted the house but not before Persaud ensured that her brothers were safe.She was seen walking out of the burning building. She was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was admitted and treated for second and third-degree burns to 97.8 per cent of her body. The SHEA organisation assisted the family and the child was taken overseas after a total of US$42,000 was successfully raised to offset some of the expenses.Persaud was medevaced from the Georgetown Public Hospital on August 10 to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, where she boarded a chartered flight to the United States.During the short period, several corrective surgeries were performed in an effort to save the child’s life.Nevertheless, she died a few days later. SHEA stated that “Shaniya fought a long and difficult battle, but her fragile body could no longer continue. Her heart stopped twice and her doctors tried desperately to resuscitate her”.That announcement came one day after the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) revealed that the child’s wounds were not healing, especially those suffered internally.Meanwhile, Fire Chief Marlon Gentle stated that investigations have concluded and the fire was an act of arson and the matter is now being dealt with by the police who are tasked with finding the perpetrator(s) and to determine for what reason/purpose the act was committed. However, no one has been arrested for the crime.