Local News

Henderson burn victim, 4, returns home from hospital

Posted July 15, 2011 10:11 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2011 2:17 p.m. EDT

— Nearly three weeks after a Henderson family was rescued from their burning home, the youngest survivor, 4-year-old Jessica Bustos, is out of the hospital.

Jessica was pulled from a window after her family's house at 210 Carolina Ave. went up in flames. She wasn’t breathing and was airlifted to the North Carolina Jaycees Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with burns on her face, arm and leg.

Doctors initially told the family that Jessica would be in the hospital for three to four months, but the little girl was able to leave after three weeks. When she found out she was going home, she had only one request.

“She wanted some French fries and an iced tea from McDonald’s,” said her aunt Cindy Carter. “She’s been wonderful. Like any 4-year-old I guess, she handled it the best she could.”

Jessica’s 12-year-old sister, Tiffany Moncada, escaped the fire by jumping out of a window and was counting down the days until her little sister came home.

“I wanted her home now, not later, not in a month, not in a year, now,” Tiffany said.

Jessica’s parents, Barbara Ann Lassiter and Lorenzo Bustos, and her 11-year-old brother, Michael Moncada, were also taken to the burn center for treatment. Her parents are still in fair condition, and her mom is scheduled to have surgery next week.

“It’s been hard, but we’ll get through it,” Carter said.

Jessica is expected to make a full recovery with help from physical therapy.

“Where they (did) the skin grafts, they’re taking very well,” Carter said. “The way it looks, that’s the only surgery she’s going to have to have.”