Actor burned in Lyric Opera stunt released from hospital

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The actor who was injured in a Lyric Opera fire stunt gone wrong was released from  the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Doctors say Wesley Daniel, 24, was extremely fortunate not to suffer injuries to his eyes when a fireball flared up in front of his face.

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 Friday.

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