Pippie to go home but her fight not over yet
After spending eight months in hospital care, burn survivor Isabella "Pippie" Kruger is going home today.
She will be spoilt with a weekend away with her family at a luxury hotel.
Three-year-old Pippie earned worldwide attention after becoming the first South African to have skin grown for her in a US laboratory after suffering third-degree burns to 80% of her body.
Her mother, Anice Kruger, recently won a weekend at the hotel for being "the most inspiring South African".
She will spend the weekend with Pippie, "the world's best husband" and her one-year-old son.
To get around, Pippie rides in a little buggy - a special pram that keeps her seated in the correct position. It has shock absorbers to prevent her being hurt by bumps.
"This chair has enough straps for a serial killer," joked Pippie's mom.
Pippie will continue to visit a rehabilitation hospital three times a week for occupational, speech and physiotherapy.
Her new home will be converted into a "mini gym".
"Pippie will have a standing ring, a chair for the bath, a walking ring and side-lying frame to teach her to lie on her side again," said Kruger.
"Her new room makes Beijing look boring," said Kruger, referring to the Hello Kitty dolls and toys that Pippie has received from all over the world.
Kruger said the family will not return home to Ellisras until Pippie can sit and walk.
"We will stay here until she is 100% perfect.
"I can see a lot of improvement. Recovery is about all the tiny changes that will add up to the big miracle one day."
Kruger said her biggest challenge was disagreeing with the doctors about the extent of the injury to Pippie's brain.
Pippie's brain was affected by strokes but Anice believes she will learn to speak again.
"I will never believe she has brain damage."
Occupational therapist Carmen Wright, who has been treating Pippie since April, is hopeful about Pippie's recovery.
"You never know, she is only three. She is still developing."
Wright is busy sewing the pressure garments that Pippie will have to wear 23 hours a day for two years to reduce scarring.
The hand-made suit includes a face mask, leggings, gloves, socks, arm bands and a jacket.
"Every couple of months we'll have to remake everything as Pippie grows," said Wright.
"Pippie's face will be fully covered in a mask with holes for her nose, eyes and mouth.
"The pressure suit helps regenerate the skin and prevent discolouration."
Wright made splints for Pippie's hands to keep them open.
"Her hands might never be like ours but she will learn to use them the Pippie way."