SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two months after nearly dying from third-degree burns over most of his body, a local toddler is gaining ground on the long and frustrating road to recovery, and his mother says he should be able to return home within a few weeks.
Three-year-old Armani has been in the intensive care unit at Shriners Hospital ever since his mother’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Kirk Douglas, allegedly left him in a bathtub filled with scalding hot water after the boy urinated on himself.
Armani suffered third-degree burns on more than 50 percent of his body and could barely open his eyes or speak when he first arrived at the hospital, and the injuries nearly proved fatal.
“I just broke down and started crying,” said Armani’s mother, Desiree White.
Desiree said Armani’s spirit has surprised doctors, and two weeks ago, the boy reached an important milestone: The boy took his first steps and waved at nurses. His recovery has advanced to the point that doctors are allowing him and Desiree to hug once again.
“He held me tight and he just laid his head on me, and you know, it was a really good feeling,” she said.
Armani is expected to leave ICU soon and move back home in March. Desiree said the boy knows why he’s in the hospital, but she hasn’t talked with him about the incident that put him there.
Kirk Douglas is facing charges of child abuse in connection with the burning, but he claimed in a December interview with CBS13 he wasn’t trying to discipline the child and didn’t realize the water was so hot.
“I left him in the tub to attend to my other child and I paid no attention to the water temperature,” Douglas said. “I was in the living room. If he would have screamed sooner I would have been back there.”