Round Lake boy recovering from severe burn at sleepover

  • Gio Palacios, 13, has a long recovery ahead of him after being burned on his right foot during a prank at a sleepover in Round Lake Park.

    Gio Palacios, 13, has a long recovery ahead of him after being burned on his right foot during a prank at a sleepover in Round Lake Park. courtesy of Leiah Zulayka

  • Gio Palacios has begun to walk again with the help of nurses. Gio, 13, received third-degree burns on his right foot over the weekend at a sleepover in Round Lake Park.

    Gio Palacios has begun to walk again with the help of nurses. Gio, 13, received third-degree burns on his right foot over the weekend at a sleepover in Round Lake Park. courtesy of Leiah Zulayka

  • Gio Palacios of Round Lake is recovering from third-degree burns on his right foot. His parents say he was burned at a sleepover as part of a prank.

    Gio Palacios of Round Lake is recovering from third-degree burns on his right foot. His parents say he was burned at a sleepover as part of a prank. courtesy of Leiah Zulayka

 
 
Updated 1/23/2020 6:14 PM

A 13-year-old Round Lake boy suffered third-degree burns on his right foot at a sleepover in Round Lake Park where his parents say he was targeted in a prank inspired by online videos.

While Gio Palacios was sleeping, one or more boys doused his right foot in nail polish remover and set it on fire with a lighter over the weekend, according to his family. Gio has been in a hospital ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said his department and the Lake County state's attorney's Office are investigating. Because the case involves minors, Filenko said he was unable to say how many people are being investigated.

Gio's mother, Rosario Castillo, said she believes the boys who burned her son were inspired by seeing a video of a similar prank on social media.

Gio has begun lightly walking on the foot, supported by nurses. Castillo said Gio's doctors expect him to recover fully, but the road to get there might be long.

"We will be referred to a more local physical therapy center to continue to work and get him back up a little at a time as he heals," said Castillo, who added the family will have to change his dressings at home.

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She said Gio could be discharged from the hospital as soon as Tuesday.

Castillo said she's grateful to the people who have supported Gio online. A GoFundMe page started by Gio's cousin Leiah Zulayka garnered nearly $3,300 in just over five days.

Castillo said the money raised will help pay for issues that may arise during Gio's recovery.

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