If you were anything like I was when you were little, you were crazy about rides and amusement parks. Especially during festivities like 4th of July or Carnival! I always wanted to go on every merry-go-round and ride.
11-year-old Elizabeth "Lulu" Gilreath from Nebraska, USA was no different.
Sadly, a go on one of the rides during carnival turned out to change Lulu’s life forever.
She was a happy 11-year-old enjoying a lovely day at a local carnival and like any kid her age, she decided to try out one of the rides at the event. She hopped on the ‘King's Crown’ but got off with no hair and covered in blood.
During the ride, the little girl's hair got stuck in the machinery and was ripped off along with her scalp. This all happened right in front of her mother's very eyes, who says she'll never be able to forget her daughter's scream.
It took five minutes to stop the ride and Lulu was taken to the hospital, where she basically had to fight to stay alive.
She was in a critical condition and had to stay in intensive care for several weeks. The odds were against her – but in the end, she survived.
Lulu will never look like she did before the accident – she required several skin transplants to cover up the large parts of her scalp that were missing skin.
As the story circulated the town and the country, the family received tons of support from all over the country and over some half-a-million dollars were raised to cover Lulu’s hospital bills.
Lulu received letters from strangers from each corner of the US. The little brave girl did her best to answer all the kind souls who had wished her a speedy recovery.
Sadly, her hair will never grow out again.
Despite the nightmare, Lulu has been incredibly strong and has a very positive outlook on life and the future.
Her and her mother are now working hard to make sure there are stricter regulations on the machinery of rides. They hope that a new law will come into action so that something similar never happens again.
Lulu wants to alert everyone who goes on rides, to make sure nothing is hanging loose, whether it's hair, any type of strings or a scarf – anything that could possibly get stuck should be taken off or tied before going on the ride. She knows far too well what can happen if not.
Luckily, Lulu's injuries healed a lot quicker than what the doctors had initially expected – after 3 months she was ready to leave the hospital.
Although happy to get back to normal life, Lulu was also scared. She was to start a new school and worried about what her new classmates were to think about her appearance.
Her mom took her wig shopping and they found the perfect wig for Lulu, she almost looked like she did before her accident.
Her first day ran smoothly and as a matter of fact, most of the kids at school had already heard about the horrific accident. They thought that Lulu was incredibly strong to go through something so horrible and still stay so happy and positive.
She sure is a brave little girl – I hope all her scars heal and she can continue to live the life of any kid her age.
Please share Lulu's story to warn everyone about the dangers of going on rides with anything hanging loose.
I really hope this never happens again.