Family step out after toddler’s burns ordeal on camp-site hol

Maggie Sullivan, two, who is being treated for burns to her foot, with mum Shelley Sullivan.
Maggie Sullivan, two, who is being treated for burns to her foot, with mum Shelley Sullivan.

Family and friends of a girl badly burned in a freak accident hope to raise £1,000 for the hospital that helped her recover.

Maggie Sullivan, two, spent almost two weeks in the specialist burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, after a camping trip went horribly wrong.

The youngster from Walsden, Todmorden, had gone away to Ripon for the May bank holiday weekend with mum Shelley, dad Paul and five-year-old brother Alfie.

Shelley said: “There was a pan of boiling water on the camping stove and Maggie was on my knee – we weren’t even near it.

“There was a huge gust of wind and I can remember Paul shouting and jumping up – but it was too late. The pan toppled off the stove and the water went flying.” The boiling water hit Maggie’s left foot, hand and leg.

Shelley said: “I’ll remember her screams as long as I live, she was in so much pain.

“We pulled her jeans and socks off but the skin on her foot just peeled away.

“We had a bottle of water which we threw on it before racing up to the camp-site reception for more water and to call an ambulance.”

Maggie was taken to Harrogate Hospital, then transferred immediately to Pinderfields.

Shelley said: “She couldn’t walk for over a week and had dressings all up her arm and down her leg.

“They had to be changed every couple of days and she would scream each time they did it. It was heartbreaking. Nobody ever wants to see their child in pain.”

Although her arm and leg recovered, her foot was badly damaged and plastic surgeons said the only option was a skin graft.

“Thankfully the graft has been a success and Maggie is now on the mend,” said Shelley.

The youngster will need to wear a special pressure sock for the next two years to help the wound heal and she still goes back to the hospital every month for a check-up.

“The staff at the hospital have been fantastic. I’ll never forget what they did for us and the care they gave Maggie.”

To say thank you, Shelley, a former Courier reporter, has organised an eight-mile walk in Todmorden to raise money for the hospital’s burns club, which provides counselling and support for badly burned children and their families.

Around 40 people will take part in the trek on Sunday, September 18, which starts and finishes at Todmorden Golf Club - which is kindly supporting the event.

You can support the walk by visiting – just type Shelley Sullivan under the “find a friend” option to find Maggie’s Eight Mile Walk page.