At just 7 years old, Julian Sandlin is dealing with pain few of us could ever imagine.
Last Monday, the Independence, Missouri, boy was playing outside when another child doused him in nail polish remover and set Julien on fire with a candle, according to Julien’s mother, Ashley Lyons.
At this point, it remains unclear why the other child doused Julien in the flammable liquid.
“My son kept saying ‘Stop. What are you doing?’ Julien kept telling him to leave him alone and that’s when he decided to burn him,” Lyons told the Kansas City Star.
A neighbor came to Julien’s rescue with a wet towel to try and put out the flames. Rescue crews quickly arrived on the scene and brought Julien to a nearby hospital. He made it through surgery, but not after suffering severe burns.
“It’s a very painful process for him,” Lyons told the paper. “There is a lot of anxiety. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of confusion. He’s trying to maintain the best that he can, for a 7-year-old.”
But Julien’s mom believes her son will make it through these challenging times.
“He’s a very loving child, he loves to love more than receive love, that’s for sure,” Lyons said.
“We had to reassure him that he was not ugly,” Julien’s grandmother Vicki Test told the Star. “He’s a beautiful baby inside and out. I love my grandson so much, no matter what he looks like.”
The Independence Police Department is reportedly investigating the incident.
A GoFundMe page for Julien has already exceeded its original goal of $10,000.