Lulu was just 11 when a truly gruesome incident at a Nebraska carnival disfigured her, but now she's looking back at everything with a smile.
It was one of the most shocking and gruesome things to happen to a child that one can imagine, and yet 12-year-old Elizabeth Gilreath of Nebraska is all smiles and says her scars “don’t define me,” according to a recent report. Lulu, as she’s called, was 11 when her red hair got stuck in a carnival ride, scalping her, and the frightening injury forced her to be in and out of hospitals in the months that followed.
But in a new interview with local station WOWT, she says she won’t let the incident hold her back. She’s endured two head surgeries, three skin grafts, one eye surgery, and an astonishing 28 blood transfusions, and there will still be much more work to do to get her back to full health.
Gilreath had boarded the King’s Crown ride at a carnival in Omaha for a day of fun, but things took a turn for the worse when her hair got tangled in the ride’s machinery, completely ripping off the top of her head.
She next remembered waking up in a hospital bed feeling like her head was “smushed,” according to WOWT.
Fortunately, although she still has a difficult road ahead, there’s good news: her red hair is growing back, at least on one side. She said she can even pull her hair into a ponytail.
Lulu’s mother, Virginia Cooksey, doesn’t intend to let the incident slide. She has two lawsuits pending: one against the company that made the ride, and the other against the state of Nebraska for negligence, according to the report.