A 7-year-old boy in Missouri may need skin grafts after suffering severe burns to his face and arms. Another child allegedly soaked him in nail polish remover and set him on fire, the boy’s mother said.
Ashley Lyons told the Kansas City Star that her son, Julien Sandlin, was playing outside the family’s apartment Monday when there was an apparent altercation with another boy.
“My son kept saying ‘Stop. What are you doing?’ Julien kept telling him to leave him alone and that’s when he decided to burn him,” Lyons said.
Lyons wasn’t home at the time, but said Julien was with an older brother and another adult at the time. She claimed the other boy’s mother was present and didn’t intervene.
A neighbor used a wet towel to cover Julien and rolled him on the ground until police and paramedics arrived, the paper reported. Julien underwent surgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where he remains.
“There is a lot of anxiety. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of confusion.”
“It’s a very painful process for him,” Lyons told the paper. “There is a lot of anxiety. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of confusion. He’s trying to maintain the best that he can, for a 7-year-old.”
Graphic photos of Julien posted online show him lying in a hospital bed, eyes shut, with extreme burns on his forehead, across his nose and cheeks, and over an ear. One photo shows one of his arms wrapped in a bandage.
“We had to reassure him that he was not ugly,” said Vicki Test, Julien’s grandmother. “He’s a beautiful baby inside and out. I love my grandson so much, no matter what he looks like.”
“I love my grandson so much, no matter what he looks like.”
Police told Lyons on Thursday they were investigating the matter.
On Friday, an update on Julien’s GoFundMe page read: “We’re doing amazing!!! I am so thankful and greatful [sic] for all the prayers and love and support for julien everything helps and we are so thankful for every bit of it julien is doing well confused but stable.”
The page has raised nearly $5,000 of the family’s $10,000 goal as of Saturday morning.