Omaha, Nebraska – Elizabeth Gilreath was just 11 years old when she went on her first carnival ride in Omaha last May. She rode on King’s Crown ride and things went wrong. Although it may look like a tragedy to some, Gilreath is making the best of her amazing recovery.
The now 12-year-old Nebraska girl was enjoying the fun ride until her long red hair got tangled in the machinery, brutally ripping off her scalp.
According to WOWT, Elizabeth had two head surgeries, three skin grafts, one eye surgery, and 28 blood transfusions.
“My scars don’t define me,” Elizabeth told WOWT. “Nobody’s scars should define them.”
She told WOWT that she did not remember everything about the accident but she did remember waking up in the hospital with her mother at her side.
“I told her I feel like my head was smushed,” Elizabeth began. “And she told me what happened.”
Her red curls have grown back on the right side of her head. “Now, I can actually pull my hair up into a ponytail and the thing is it’s growing,” she said.
It’s been almost a year since the accident and her mother, Virgina Cooksey says her daughter is very strong.
“Lulu is stronger than me,” she wrote in one, months-old post, calling the little girl by her nickname. “My baby girl saw herself for the first time today. The way she handle it came me strength. ”
Cooksey told WOWT that she has filed a lawsuit against the company behind the carnival ride and against the state for negligence.