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'We never gave up:' Woman set on fire in February making progress in recovery, family says

’We never gave up: ’ Woman set on fire in February making progress in recovery, family says

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Three and a half months after she was set on fire, Savannah Bailey is making progress in her recovery, according to her sister. 

On February 14, court documents say Bailey was in her apartment, when Javaunte Jefferson poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire. 

Officials say Jefferson drove off and left Bailey and her two kids outside in the cold. 

Bailey was taken to the hospital with severe, third-degree burns to her hips, head, and a large portion of her hair had been burned to the scalp. 

"She's doing good right now, better than when she first came in," said Bailey's sister, Sharrissa Johnson, about the progress she's made. 

Johnson says Bailey has had 15 surgeries and they have all gone well. 

"Her skin from her neck to where she was burned is almost completely healed," said Johnson. 

She said Bailey is able to stand up and do physical therapy. She's also able to communicate with nurses by writing on a board what she wants and needs. 

"The reason she can't talk is because she has a trach in her neck, and around the neck where she was burned, it's still healing. So once that heals, that can come out," she said. 

Once that happens, Johnson says Bailey will be moved to a different floor to continue to do rehab. 

"It's still kind of hard to process because she shouldn't be there in the first place," said Johnson. "There was times when they thought that she wouldn't make it, but we had faith, we never gave up."

Johnson says she believes Bailey has found her strength in her kids. 

"When she got set on fire, I think she thought about her kids, that's why she fought so long to where she's at now," she said. 

Johnson says it's been hard to see the increase in domestic violence homicides in Milwaukee this year. 

"It's hard 'cause as I think about domestic violence, some of these people didn't make it and my sister did. Some of these cases where these families have lost theirs and my sister had another chance, you know, and it's just sad that it's happening, period."

She said she wants those who may be in a domestic violence relationship to talk to someone and seek help. 

"Because what happened to my sister can happen to anybody."

A GoFundMe was created to help with medical costs and to replace all that was lost in the fire. 

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