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Kids trapped in Northglenn fire out of hospital

4:00 PM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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Five-year-old Kaitlyn Johnson left Children's Hospital Colorado on Monday after recovering from severe burns to half of her body.

Her 18-month-old brother Cody got out of the hospital in March after recovering from smoke inhalation.

The two kids have been through a long recovery since Feb. 23, when Northglenn Police say their father, 27-year-old William Idris Johnson, started a fire after barricading himself and his kids inside their home around 4 a.m.

Johnson passed away after nearly three months in the hospital.

Their mother, Rosie Jungst-Johnson, was severely beaten by her estranged husband that morning, according to police. She filed for divorce a month before the incident.

Since February, Cody has fully recovered.

"He's been doing great for a long time now," Jungst-Johnson said.

Kaitlyn has made remarkable gains, getting out of the hospital a month before expected, Jungst-Johnson said.

"So many of the doctors and nurses described her as the poster child of innocence," Jungst-Johnson said.

"There will be about a year to two years before most of the redness will go away," Jungst-Johnson said of her daughter's burn injuries. "Her biggest goal is to grow her hair back."

Doctors had to cut Kaitlyn's hair so they could graft skin from the back of her head onto her face, Jungst-Johnson said.

Kaitlyn also has burns to her hands and back, yet her mom praised doctors and nurses for helping Kaitlyn get movement back so soon.

"When she first saw herself in the mirror after the injuries," Jungst-Johnson said, "she looked in the mirror and said 'OK, that's alright.'"

Jungst-Johnson says Kaitlyn still remembers the fire, but is receiving therapy for the trauma she experienced.

Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney Don Quick filed four counts of attempted first-degree murder against William Johnson in March. The charges also included two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.

Those charges were dismissed after Johnson passed away.

Since the fire, Jungst-Johnson and her kids have received donations from the firefighters, police officers and community members who have heard their story. They have since moved to a new home with furnishings provided by generous donors.

"It really showed how much people care and how much people are willing to do to help somebody out that they don't even know," she said.

The family is still paying for medical bills.

A fund is set up for the young children and their mom. You can donate to the Rosie Johnson Fund at any 1st Bank Branch.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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