After having her scalp ripped off in a horrific carnival ride accident, 11-year-old Elizabeth Gilreath saw her disfigured head for the first time on Wednesday.
And she smiled.
“Lulu is stronger than me,” her mother said on Facebook, alongside a photo of the grinning child in the intensive care ward of an Omaha hospital. Lulu is the girl’s nickname.
“My baby girl saw herself for the first time today,” mom Virginia Cooksey wrote. “The way she handle(d) it gave me strength.”
Last Saturday, Lulu slipped off the seat of ride called Kings Crown and her long, red hair became entangled in the ride’s machinery.
She has been in pediatric intensive care ever since and has undergone several surgeries to reattach her severed scalp. She faces another operation in the coming days, her mother said.
“Please pray for my little girl. She still can’t see out of her left eye,” Cooksey said.
A message left with the mom by InsideEdition.com was not immediately returned.
Last week, she told Inside Edition her daughter was up and talking, despite what happened to her.
“Elizabeth is still Elizabeth,” her mother said.
Virginia Cooksey and her daughter, Lulu, in a Nebraska intensive care unit
Extensive damage to muscles around the child’s eye could mean she will be blind in one eye, her relatives said. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $60,000 to help with the girl’s recovery.
People have also donated their hair for a wig and volunteered their time to help.
Lulu “says her head hurts, but she’s amazingly strong!!” Cooksey wrote on her Facebook page.