The NY Post reports that the 12-year-old Bronx girl who was doused with boiling water in a cruel social media stunt became an honorary member of New York’s Bravest on Thursday.
Jamoneisha Merritt danced with joy and hugged her mother at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn as she was sworn in as an honorary firefighter by Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
The girl was a victim of the “boiling water challenge” when pals poured hot water on her during a sleepover on August 7, 2017.
Her mother, Ebony Merritt, claims the girls posted the stunt on social media as a “prank.”
About 85 percent of Jamoneisha’s body — including her face, chest and back — were badly scalded.
She had told The Post she was “lucky to be alive” after a two-week stint in the hospital.
“I’m happy to be home. I thought I might not make it,” Merritt said shortly after she was released from Harlem Hospital. “I am happy I made it through. I am happy I am healing properly and fast.”
Nigro praised Jamoneisha on Thursday for her courage during her long road to recovery.
Nigro made a point to speak out against the boiling water challenge, which he said “has been referred to many as a prank.”
“Using boiling water in this matter, playing with matches and fire, or engaging in activity that can seriously burn someone or even take their life is no prank,” he said. “It is senseless, callous, dangerous, behavior — but it is not a prank.”
The ceremony was followed by lunch at a firehouse in Harlem and a day spent with the force.
Jamoneisha and her mother thanked the FDNY for its support and for coming to visit the girl while she was hospitalized.
The 12-year-old girl “pal” who allegedly tossed the scorching water on Jamoneisha was arrested in August on charges of felony assault.
Jamoneisha said at the time that she wanted other girls involved to be held accountable,
“I want to stop bullying because bullying is not right, and bullying can cost people their lives,” she said.
Other young people across the country have been victims of the cruel stunt.
An 8-year-old girl in Florida died on August 4, 2017, months after her cousin “dared” her to drink boiling water from a straw.
An Arkansas teen suffered first- and second-degree burns on his neck after his buddies doused him with boiling water on August 28, 2017.