What seemed like a day of harmless fun, turned into a nightmare when a little girl was scalped while riding a go-kart outside of her Louisiana home.
As Inside Edition reports, 5-year-old Lani Use was riding an old gas-powered go-kart when her hair came out of its bun and got caught in the vehicle’s gear belt. Her family watched in horror as she was snatched back towards the engine.
In addition to her skull being fractured in four places, the right side of her scalp was ripped off from her hairline down to her neck. Her grandfather used a knife to cut her hair free from the belt, while her grandmother held her scalp to her head.
Maci Gautreaux, Lani’s mom, told Inside Edition that her daughter was “really, really excited” to ride on the go-kart before things went awry:
“I thought she was gone. I didn’t think she was going to make it.”
Fortunately, following a five-hour operation, doctors were able to save Lani’s life and her hair.
As Inside Edition reports, dad Jacob Use was only several feet away from her when the accident took place. He said:
“That’s my baby girl.”
Medical professionals stretched the left side of Lani’s scalp over the exposed area. Now, nine months later, the girl’s light brown strands are making a reappearance.
Looking back at what happened, Macie said:
“It’s a miracle that she is here with us today.”
According to USA Today, Anthony Jerussi, the resident safety guru at Grand Prix New York Racing, said that no matter what type of go-kart you’re riding in, the same safety rules generally apply.
“Number one is wearing a helmet. Loose clothing, loose hair—you definitely want to get that stuff in.”
Furthermore, riders should ensure that roll bars or cages are present and that seat belts are in place.