OHIO VALLEY — After spending six months at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, five-year-old Clarissa Lynn Marr is scheduled to return home to Meigs County on Wednesday.
Clarissa, daughter of Willis and Tiffany Marr, was flown to Columbus after being severely burned when the Marr’s home in Clifton, W.Va., caught fire. The fire occurred on Clarissa’s fifth birthday, Sept. 24, 2020.
Local fire departments are working to organize a parade to lead the child to her home near Middleport, although the exact time of her arrival is unknown as of Monday afternoon. Updates will be given on Facebook on the page “Mason Vol. Fire Dept.” Firemen are hoping the community will show up and line the streets to welcome her.
Clarissa’s mom has kept the public updated on her personal Facebook page since the fire occurred. During the months, the child was put on a ventilator and had several surgeries, including a tracheotomy and many skin graphs. She coded three times in October, and there were times when Willis and Tiffany were told their daughter might not make it through the night. Clarissa was kept in a paralytic state much of the time, on dialysis, and in mid-November her parents were told she might never be able to eat, move, walk or talk.
But just before Christmas, Tiffany reported her daughter woke up. Clarissa’s condition began improving, and in January, her parents were rubbing her with lotion three times a day, reading to her, and watching Spongebob with her. She was able to lift her arms above her head, wiggle her fingers and toes, and stick out her tongue at her parents and healthcare workers.
Clarissa got out of bed after spending 111 days in the hospital, and on Day 125 was moved from intensive care to the burn unit. She began rehabilitation in February, and on March 5 began walking in her walker. She is eating now and on her way to resuming a regular diet.
On March 2, the Marrs received the news they had been waiting on, when they learned Clarissa would be discharged on March 24.
Through the months, many fundraisers were held for the Marr family, as well as a “Go Fund Me” account. Tiffany said thanks to the community and the people who stepped up to help, they were able to pay cash for their new home near Middleport.
“We thank each and every person that stepped in to help us after we lost everything, and for the worldwide prayers we received daily for our beautiful little warrior,” she said.
While Tiffany and young son, William, received minor injuries in the fire, Willis received more serious injuries. He was discharged from the hospital in early October.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.