Burn victim speaks

November 4, 2009 5:39:37 PM PST
Shyona Perry is shy about showing her scars. Burns cover the 20-year-old's stomach and the front of her legs. The burns are over 25 percent of her body. Another 25 percent is scarred where doctors removed skin to graft over the burns. Perry says her boyfriend Roderick Sanders poured gas on her and set her on fire after beating and choking her unconscious because she'd threatened to leave him and take their baby girl with her.

"I woke up and I just seen myself on fire," she recalled.

Perry ended up at the UNC burn center.

"The first three weeks, I don't remember anything 'cause I was on so much heavy medication. But, you know, it was just very painful. Very," she said.

Perry says as soon as she came around, she asked for her 8-month-old daughter Shyrah. She was shocked to find out the child had been placed with Sanders' parents.

Sanders claimed Perry burned herself, and for two weeks - as police investigated - Sanders was living with the child and his parents.

"He had her after he did this to me," said Perry.

Now, he's behind bars charged with attempted murder and assault. But the child is still with his parents, and Perry says Social Services will not give her back.

"It's not fair. It's not fair. There's nothing fair about it," said Perry. "I'm going through a lot that I shouldn't have to go through because, as I've said, I've done nothing wrong. It's not my fault."

Perry is trying to stay strong and positive.

"I'm just glad to be alive. It's, it's a miracle," she said.

But when talking about Shyrah and her trip to court Thursday to try get her little girl back, the tears started flowing. Despite all that's happened, she says all she wants is her daughter.

"She's all I have," said Perry.

Social Services won't talk about the custody case. Roderick Sanders' parents still claim Perry burned herself.

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