Injured actor to be released from hospital soon

Actor Wesley Daniel, 24, who was injured in a stunt gone wrong on the stage of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, will be going home from the hospital soon.

Doctors say Daniel was extremely fortunate not to suffer injuries to his eyes when a fireball flared up in front of his face.

He is still at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood but doctors say he will soon be released.

“Probably by about six months from now this will just be a bad memory,” Dr. Arthur Sanford told reporters today during a conference at the hospital.

“Wesley is in good spirts,” said his father, Clifton Daniel.  “We’re going to take him home and let him eat what he wants, and let him watch what he wants.”

Daniel’s father is more than ready to bring his son home.  And Wesley is ready to watch his favorite TV shows and relax and recupate at home, after three nights in the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center.

The young actor and acrobat was in a dress rehearsal at the Lyric Opera Monday when a fire-breathing sequence went bad, according to eyewitness accounts, briefly lighting his face mask and neck area on fire.

The young actor instantly dropped off his stilts and rolled on the stage to extinguish himself.  Stage crew members quickly came to his aid, running on stage with fire extinguishers.

Paramedics were there in a matter of minutes.  He was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious to critical condition with second degree burns to his face and neck area, and later transferred to the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center.

He had a breathing tube inserted for a period of time.  There was concern that maybe he had damaged his airway or his lungs, but that does not appear to be the case.

His father, who was at the dress rehearsal, says Wesley is very hoarse right now and having a difficult time talking.  He still has bandages around his face.

Doctors say he will not suffer any permanent scarring.

There is no word yet when or if he plans to return to the Lyric Opera production that opens tomorrow.

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