KUCHING: Thirteen years ago, she suffered 86 percent burns on her body when she was trapped in a fire at her house in Stutong.

After having undergone more than 30 operations, the 15-year-old girl joined her peers for her Form Three Assessment (PT3) exam at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Penrissen Wira Penrissen here today.

Elizabeth Elida Edward was seen concentrating while answering her Bahasa Malaysia paper despite having difficulties in writing and moving due to serious injuries from the fire.

Mother Murni J Muteh, 42, said her youngest daughter suffered 86 percent of burns on her body when she was trapped in the fire when she was two-year-old.

“It was a nightmare… the tragedy claimed the lives of my two children Ednie Stephenie and Elleary Emenual, aged five and seven respectively, while Elizabeth’s body was nearly completely burnt.

But, thank God, she survived,” she recalled.

“It was a tough journey but we never give up. I never let Elizabeth give up. I keep encouraging her to stay strong, to be brave and independent.

Her injuries should not be a reason or an excuse to give up on her education,” she said.

The 42-year-old lorry driver said she does not want her daughter to be seen differently or as a person who cannot be successful as others.

“Even if she fails, she must stand up again and again. She had a hard time catching up in her studies as she was often absent from school due to operations, treatments and follow ups.

I told her, life must go on. She must study hard. This is her fate; to go through a challenging path,” she added.

Murni also said Elizabeth was reluctant to go to school when she was seven, as other children always made fun of the way she looked.

“They would tease her and laugh at her but I told her to ignore them,” she said.

Murni said Elizabeth had undergone more than 30 operations to improve the structure of her hands and legs which costs amounting to RM200,000.

In August, she went through a skin operation at the Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, in South Korea, sponsored by a doctor there.

“I’m proud that she is such a strong girl after having gone through so much pain and tears. I pray that she can have a bright future,” said Murni.

Source: NST Online

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