Destini Crane, of Portland, Ore., Severely burned her neck and right arm and had to undergo three skin grafts after her family believed she was trying to copy a video to the popular TikTok video app.
The incident happened on May 13 in the bathroom of their home, her sister, Andrea Crane, told ABC News. Destini is currently unable to speak to tell them what happened. But based on what they found in the bathroom and after talking to his friends, they believe the seventh-grader – who “lived for TikToks,” his mother said – was trying to copy a TikTok video in which someone draws a shape using flammable liquid on a mirror, then lights the fire.
Destini brought into the bathroom a candle, lighter and bottle of rubbing alcohol, which they said exploded in the poorly ventilated space, setting her and other objects on fire, her sister said. . When they retrieved Destini’s phone, TikTok was still recording a video, her mother, Kimberly Crane, told ABC News.
“I was in the living room talking with my mom and heard her scream my name,” Kimberly Crane recalls. “So I went to open the bathroom door and everything was on fire. Destini was on fire. Things in the bathroom were on fire. “
Kimberly Crane took her daughter outside and finally took off her burning shirt, she said. A neighbor had called 911.
Since then, Destini has been in the intensive care unit and her family is hoping that she can soon move to the burns unit for additional care. She will likely need several more months to recover, including in-hospital rehabilitation to regain use of her arm and mobility of her neck, shoulders and fingers, her sister said.
“Due to the burns, his mobility will be limited,” said Andrea Crane. “It will just be a lifelong thing for her to do physiotherapy to keep her mobility. “
Destini is taking pain medication, her family said, and they think she knows she is in the hospital but doesn’t fully understand what happened to her.
“I know when she wakes up and fully understands she is probably going to panic,” her mother said. “But honestly, I think she’s strong enough to pull through. “
The family said their church and school in Destini have been supporting them since the incident. Andrea Crane, a student at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, also returned home to help her sister, who loves to skateboard and play the online game Roblox.
“We have always been our unit,” she said. “Being in Monmouth just wasn’t an option for me, with the desire to be here and my family needed me. “
The two are sharing their story to hopefully encourage other families to be more involved in children’s use of social media.
“I just wasn’t there with her,” said Andrea Crane. “When she showed me TikToks and when she showed me what she was doing, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m busy’ or ‘I’m doing my homework.’ “
“It’s really important to be present with your children, because we can supervise them, we have parental control, we can do whatever we want, but things slip by”, he said. she declared. “And so it’s really important to be there with your kids and to have this transparency of,” Hey, what are you doing what?
Children’s online safety organization Internet Matters says teens “may be tempted to take risks to get more followers or likes on a video, so it’s important to talk about what they’re sharing.”
Common Sense Media recommends that parents share an account with children over 13 so they can “keep tabs on what your child is watching and posting.”
Parents can limit content that may not be suitable for all users by enabling “restricted mode” in the account.
ABC News has contacted TikTok for comment.
Amid reports of last year’s so-called skullbreaker challenge, a prank that left some children with serious injuries, TikTok said in a post in its newsroom that “we don’t allow not content that encourages or reproduces dangerous challenges that could result in injury. “
“Most importantly, we encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior, whether online or offline,” the company said. “No one wants their friends or family to get hurt while filming a video or trying a stunt. “