While his mother was preparing his bath, one-year-old Daniel Chernenko accidentally fell into a bucket of boiling water. His mother had left him for a moment to get more water for the boy’s bath and was not there when he fell into the bucket – but she rushed right over as soon as it happened and hurried him to the emergency room where doctors realized he had suffered burns on 80 percent of his tiny body.
From that moment on, Daniel battled to stay alive. Doctors pulled out all the stops to rescue him. For ten days, it seemed like he was going to pull through and survive. His mother stayed by his side throughout the ordeal.
But then, he died. After eleven days of struggle,
Now the boy’s mother Tetyana Chernenko is stricken with grief. She had just been trying to give the baby boy a bath in their home village of Salhany in southern Ukraine. Because plumbing is different in her village, Tetyana needed to fill up a bucket with water to get the boy clean. She first gathered the bucket of boiling hot water and placed it on the floor near the table. When she was going to grab a bucket of cold water to mix the two, Daniel fell from the table into the bucket.
“I saw how he fell in the boiling water,” the mother told reporters. “I rushed to the bucket and pulled him out. I hugged him, then wrapped in a cotton cloth. When I unwrapped him, I saw his skin was peeling off.”
The little boy was burned so badly that his skin was falling off his tiny body. Tetyana knew then that this was more serious than she could have ever imagined. She rushed Daniel to the hospital in Odessa where he was declared in critical condition.
As doctors rushed to save his life, Daniel suffered unbearable pain. He cried continuously. He almost died several times, but doctors managed to bring him back to life each time.
The boy was burned all over his body. Only the skin on his fingers, toes, and his forehead was untouched. He cried so much his voice grew hoarse.
When his story went viral a few days after he fell into the bucket of boiling water, people around the world donated money to help fund his recovery. A local volunteer named Katherine Nozhevnikova snapped photos of the bandaged baby and shared them on the fundraising page. People donated in droves.
However, no amount of money could help the tiny baby recover from the traumatic experience.
“Ten liters of boiling water and just a few seconds during which the mother’s attention was diverted,” the volunteer said. “The child won 11 days of life thanks to people who donated funds for his treatment. We have lost him. I am so sorry.”
While the little boy took his last breath, Tetyana was by his side.
She feels terrible that she was not there to stop him from falling. But it isn’t her fault. Accidents happen. Too bad the little baby was not able to pull through. Our prayers go out to the family.
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