Girl Whose Scalp Was Torn Off by Carnival Ride Sees Herself for the First Time

(Warning: Image may disturb some viewers)
By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
May 19, 2016 Updated: May 19, 2016

The 11-year-old Nebraska girl whose scalp was ripped off when her hair got tangled in a carnival ride has seen herself for the first time since the accident on May 17—and she was all smiles.

“Lulu is stronger than me,” said her mother, Virginia Cooksey on Facebook. “My baby girl saw herself for the first time today. The way she handle it (gave) me strength.”

Cooksey says her daughter, Elizabeth ‘Lulu’ Gilreath, still can’t see out of her left eye, but she is expected to undergo surgery on Friday or Saturday.

Elizabeth was at a Cinco de Mayo Festival in Omaha on May 7, when she slipped off her seat on the King’s Crown ride. Her long, red hair was pulled into the machinery, which continued for another five to ten minutes, her father, Timothy Gilreath said.

“She was tortured,” Gilreath said in a press conference at Nebraska Medicine, where his daughter is being treated.

On May 16, Cooksey said Elizabeth has had fifteen blood transfusions, “I was just told that she will be having surgery next week because that back of her scalp from the crown to the bottom has to be removed,” she wrote on Facebook.

The family set up a GoFundMe page to help with Elizabeth’s medical expenses. As of May 19, they have raised $60,980 of $75,000.

“Lulu she is smiling And will be having her surgery on Friday or Saturday so please continue the prayers. Thank you to all who have been praying donating and offering support during this tragic time. We all send love to everyone for taking 5 minutes of their day to show Lulu they are thinking of her,” the Facebook post says.

Thomas D. Thomas Shows, the company that runs the carnival, is investigating the accident to see what exactly transpired.