7-year-old Long Island girl who suffered horrible burns thanks doctors, first responders

EAST MEADOW, Long Island (WABC) -- A young girl who survived a horrific fire in her home got a chance to thank the first responders who saved her life Tuesday.

Thanks to the firefighters and a team of doctors, Frances Shea Breen is back on her feet, singing and dancing once again in the very place where she endured so much pain and suffering.

The 7-year-old, with her parents by her side, returned to Nassau County University Medical Center to say thank you.

"It feels really good to be out," she said. "It's a big change."

Breen persevered through 82 days of treatment after a harrowing Sunday morning accident earlier this year that resulted in third- and fourth-degree burns to more than half her body.

"She was standing six feet away from the fire pit, speaking to one of her younger cousins, and a big gust of wind blew and caught the tip of her Easter dress," mom Molly Deegan-Breen said. "And and that's when she ignited."

Her mom and dad presented a pair of plaques to the medical team who team who cared for their little girl.

"We wanted to have some of permanent fixture to hang and be a reminder, and for our family to help all the others who will come before us," Deegan-Breen said. "Hopefully there won't be that many."

And for the recipients, it was a happy reminder of the life-saving work they do every day.

"At the end of the day, it's Frances getting up and walking through the pain and through the tightness and contractures every day," Dr. Louis Riina said. "In order to incrementally make progress and get better."

Everyone there is rallying around Breen and optimistic about her future.

"This is first stage of her recovery," Dr. Roger Simpson said. "She has to go further now with rehabilitation, stretching the scars. There's a lot to look forward to."

And she is just grateful for their expertise and caring.

"They got me through this hard, hard recovery," she said. "And that's really it."
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.