Laidley teen burns victim back in class

ROAD TO RECOVERY: Sarah McNeish, 15, is back at Faith Lutheran College with friends Maddie Beutel, Mariah Gibson, Catherine Lunn, Shoko Nolan and Erin Oliver after she was burnt in a fire in her home at Laidley earlier in the year.
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Sarah McNeish, 15, is back at Faith Lutheran College with friends Maddie Beutel, Mariah Gibson, Catherine Lunn, Shoko Nolan and Erin Oliver after she was burnt in a fire in her home at Laidley earlier in the year.

A LAIDLEY teen who suffered burns to 36% of her body returned back to school this week.

Sarah McNeish, 15, was at her home in Laidley with her mother on June 26 when the fire started in the Cooper St home.

Sarah suffered burns to her arms, stomach and legs, while her mother Linda was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.

Sarah said she was feeling "all right" and was very happy to be back at Faith Lutheran College in Plainland.

"I am looking forward to slightly being more normal and hanging out with friends," she said.

"They had to put skin grafts on my arms and I have pressure sleeves on.

"I just got back to wearing shoes, which is good.

"I had to re-learn how to walk and do all that stuff because the muscles just forget. It was terrible."

Sarah said she was at the Royal Children's Hospital and the Royal Women's Hospital for more than two months.

"It was literally the best thing to get out of there and do physio, anything really that got me out of there," she said.

Sarah described the day she got burnt as "weird" and said it was lucky she could not recall the moment she was burnt.

"I didn't realise how bad the burns were, because apparently on my stomach they were fourth-degree and I didn't know," she said.

"I knew that they would be damaged for a while, but I thought that the redness would fade before I left hospital and it would heal like a normal burn would.

"You don't realise how much we take for granted."

Sarah said she still had not met most of the people that came to her rescue and wanted to say a big thank you to all of them.

She said she was looking forward to moving into the family's new home in Laidley at the end of the year.

Faith Lutheran College principal Janelle Anderson said it was wonderful to see Sarah's positivity back at the school.

"For us the big thing is how quickly she has recovered," she said.

"To have her back is very exciting.

"She has such resilience and fighting spirit."

To celebrate Sarah's return to school, the Year 10 students have planned a high tea to raise money for her ongoing medical care this Saturday from 1.30-4pm at the Laidley Cultural Centre.

There will be market stalls, gourmet food, gifts, a silent auction and entertainment.

Tickets are $25 per person or you can book a table of 10 for $220.

They are available from Faith Lutheran College or online at For more information phone Heidi Rose on 5466 9925.

Topics:  faith lutheran college fire laidley

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