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'Freak accident' leaves Aussie toddler unable to walk

A malfunction at a Queensland rental property caused the little boy to suffer third-degree burns to his feet.

A "freak accident" has changed the life of a Sunshine Coast toddler who has been left with severe third-degree burns to his feet.

Mum Ruby Smith rushed to 16-month-old Leuca Blu Gore on February 12, after hearing his screams coming from the garden.

She discovered him standing in a large amount of boiling water after the hot water tank had overflowed and the toddler, who "loves water," must have walked towards it, the South-East Advertiser reports.

Two photos of Sunshine Coast toddler Lueca who is facing third degree burns after a hot water heated malfunctioned at the family's Sunshine Coast rental.
Sunshine Coast toddler Leuca is facing third-degree burns after a hot water tank malfunctioned at the family's Sunshine Coast rental home. Source: GoFundMe

“It wasn’t just a little overflow,” Ms Smith said to the publication. “It was this huge poly pipe pumping out probably 50 litres of water.”

What's worse is the mum was told the malfunction had "potentially" happened "one or two times" before the family of four moved into the rental at Boreen Point six months ago.

After the incident Ms Smith, along with her mum and sister, kept Leuca's feet in cold water until the ambulance arrived around 20 to 30 minutes later.

Toddler unable to walk for now

He remains in the burns unit of Queensland Children's Hospital in a long-term capacity. Doctors removed the skin below his ankles and hooked his feet to a machine to keep his bandages in place and his wounds protected from any harmful bacteria.

Now the family must navigate the trauma of baby Leuca "unable to walk for the foreseeable future". "[This has] pretty much changed the course of our lives," Ms Smith told the South-East Advertiser.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the "long recovery process" which includes countless surgeries — the most recent one occurring on Monday — as well as rehabilitation and any additional urgent needs. So far it has raised $11,595 of the $20,000 goal.

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