Little Girl Scalded After ‘Hot-Water Challenge’ Bounces Back Like a Trouper

Ebony Merritt via Facebook

An 11-year-old New York City girl—who was cruelly pranked by her “friends” with a so-called Hot-Water Challenge—left the hospital Friday looking like a million bucks.

Jamoneisha “Jamoni” Merritt, of the city’s Bronx borough, was admitted to Harlem Hospital for 11 days after being admitted with burns over 85 percent of her face.


“I feel great,” she said to the New York Daily News after her release. Jamoni says she is now “dancing and listening to music.”

The middle schooler will probably miss the beginning of seventh grade and be homeschooled because she cannot go out into the sun and expose her “raw arm,” said her mom, Ebony Merritt.

“It’s going to take maybe about six months for all her color to come back in,” said Merritt.

Earlier in the month, Jamoni was cruelly pranked at a sleepover; her peers threw scalding water on her as she slept, possibly a copycat of the “Hot-Water Challenge,” a tragically stupid act made famous by YouTube videos.


Aniya Grant Stuart, 12, was taken into custody following the Aug. 7 incident; she allegedly tried to cut her wrists after it happened.


Jamoni told the Daily News that Aniya and two other girls had warned her that she would be pranked if she fell asleep.

“I didn’t know what they was gonna do but I felt tired,” Jamoni said. “So after I was dancing, I just sat on the couch and I fell asleep.”


She woke up startled and in pain.

“I was screaming because it burned, it burned, it burned, it burned,” she said.


Aniya’s mother applied ice to Jamoni and gave her a cold shower, and Jamoni said the girls told her to “stop buggin’.”

Jamoni’s mother said that she thinks the three girls and the mom should all be arrested.


“The mother is just as involved as the other kids,” Ebony Merritt said. “This happened at 4 a.m., but they didn’t come to my house until 5:30. That means she was there for an hour and a half while they were trying to cover their tracks.”

Mom is obviously thrilled that her daughter is home and has made what many see as a miraculous recovery.


“How can you say someone’s happy to be home[?] Can’t you see the look on her face,” Ebony Merritt wrote on her Facebook page, according to the Daily News. “She’s in good spirits. She’s great she wants to thank all of y’all for the love that you showed her.”

Read more at the New York Daily News.

Share This Story

About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.