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8-Year-Old Burn Victim Out of Hospital and Back Home | News

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8-Year-Old Burn Victim Out of Hospital and Back Home

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA -- After nearly eight months in the burn unit of a Cincinnati hospital, Alfred Real is finally back home in Georgia.

For the 8-year-old, walking down a flight of stairs is a struggle, and that's the easy part of his day. Before he can go outside for a walk, the third grader has to get dressed and endure therapy, a process that can take up to four painful hours.

"He had to learn to walk again, and get out of the bed and learn to go to the bathroom again," said Alfred's father Zac Real. "He had to relearn everything from scratch, like a baby almost."

On June 7, Alfred was rushed from his Gwinnett County home to Grady Hospital, then to Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati. Doctors weren't sure if he would survive. Most of his tiny body was covered with third degree burns. Alfred had to endure more than a dozen rounds of surgery.

Now home, Alfred says he's looking forward to riding his bike and shooting his bow and arrow.

"No one will let me," said Alfred, referring to his parents who are urging Alfred to take it slow.

Alfred wears a plastic mask and a protective nylon body suit. Even though he's home, he still has to endure the therapy, which involves stretching exercises to help him heal.

His parents say much of the healing and protection has come from a community's caring. Friends raised money to support the family, and they prayed.

"Alfred has been blessed," said his mother Angela Real. "He's been held up by prayer. We've had so much love and caring."

Alfred's parents say their son was injured trying to extinguish a fire started by another child. They say when he got close, a nearby gas can exploded.

His wounded body and timid voice carry a message.

"Get an adult when you see fire," Alfred warned.

He wants so badly to get back to a routine that dusting off his bicycle leads to temptation.

"I want to try," he whispered to his father.

It's a display of the determination that has him back on his feet. It's possible that Alfred Real may return to school next week.


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