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Virginia Beach girl faces Halloween year after tragic pumpkin lighting accident

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Posted at 12:00 AM, Oct 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-30 22:42:12-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Chloe Garcia is carrying out a family tradition picking out the Halloween pumpkin at Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach.

Dressed in their costumes, she and her two brothers had a blast running around the pumpkin patch ahead of trick-or-treating. But it’s a holiday that also carries with it painful memories of the past.

One year ago, a few days before Halloween, she and her family were lighting the Halloween pumpkin and it blew up in her face, disfiguring the preschooler.

Chloe suffered first and second degree burns on her face, neck and hands. She was in intensive care at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters for days – and that was just the start of the struggle for her and her family.

“Just seeing how her skin looked.  She had 12 surgeries,” said mom Melanie.

In February, we spoke with Melanie at the Shriner’s Burn Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio and she shared her daughter’s painful recovery.

The best chance for her to heal the deep scars on her face was to get a specially made plastic mask from the Shriner’s Hospital. The mask helps keep the scars from pulling on her face as she grows, keeping it from becoming more misshapen.

I went along with the family as Chloe was fitted with her mask and given an American Girl doll outfitted to look just like her.

That was eight months ago, and this is the first Halloween since the accident.

I caught up with Chloe and her family and asked Chloe to tell me how she had been doing since we last met.

Tune in to News 3 at 11 Sunday night to hear from Chloe and her family about her recovery and what life is like one year after the accident.

Previous coverage:

Chloe’s story: The painful recovery of a Va. Beach 5-year-old after a freak accident

Man and 4-year-old girl suffer first and second degree burns after trying to light pumpkin