- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An 11-year-old girl who had her scalp partially torn off nearly a month ago when her hair got caught in the gears of a carnival ride says she’s ready to go home.

Elizabeth “Lulu” Gilreath briefly spoke to reporters Friday at a news conference held at the Omaha hospital where she’s been a patient for four weeks. She attended the conference in a wheelchair, her head bandaged in layers of gauze and her left eye still swollen shut.

The girl giggled at many questions, but did say she misses her dog. Asked how she was doing, Lulu simply said, “I’m fine.”

Her injury occurred May 7 at a Cinco de Mayo festival in Omaha. Witnesses have said the girl fell to the floor of a spinning ride called King’s Crown, and her ponytail got caught in the ride’s moving parts. She was taken to Nebraska Medical Center after the incident, where she’s had several surgeries. She did not suffer brain trauma or fractures in the accident.

Nebraska investigators found no indication that the spinning ride was malfunctioning when the incident happened.

Her mother, Virginia Cooksey, said Lulu’s most recent surgery was Monday, when doctors grafted skin from her leg onto her scalp. Cooksey said the girl could face more surgeries in the future.

Doctors said the girl could go home as soon as Monday.

“She can’t wait to get home,” Cooksey said.

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