STATEN ISLAND, New York City (WABC) -- It's been three long months of surgeries, skin grafts, physical rehabilitation, and grief counseling. But Monday, three months to the day of a fatal fire that claimed the lives of 20 students in a girl's dormitory in Guyana, the most critically burned patient will be discharged.
Mariza Williams was a student at the school in Mahdia when another student allegedly set the dorm on fire back on May 21, 2023.
She suffered second and third-degree burns to her back, legs, and arms. Fortunately, her face was spared. Still, it took 92 days to get to this point in her care.
Mariza received life-saving care at Georgetown Public Hospital Corp. but was then transferred over 2,500 miles to receive charitable care at the Regional Burn Center at Northwell Health, Staten Island University Hospital.
"The discharge of this little girl is a joyous chapter in this otherwise horrific story," said Dr. Eric Cioe Peña, vice president of the Center for Global Health at Northwell Health. "The Mahdia fire was a national tragedy in Guyana that captivated the world and was heartfelt in Little Guyana in Queens. Getting her home will help accelerate the healing process for Mahdia and Guyana."
Cheering her on at her discharge from the hospital were her parents Marlene and Max Williams. They stood alongside Dr. Shalindra Rajkumar, a plastic surgeon at Georgetown Public Hospital Corp. in Guyana; the Guyanese Ambassador to the United States, Sam Hinds; Peña, vice president for Northwell's Center for Global Health; and Dr. Michael Cooper, director of the Regional Burn Center at Staten Island University Hospital.
Now Mariza can take her inspirational story and continue her recovery at her home in South America.
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