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Special wish granted for 8-year-old fire victim

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ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been a long road to recovery. In 2012, a Rowan County girl was badly injured in a house fire that also killed her brother.

But this weekend, one of her dreams will be coming true thanks to one of her teachers!

WKYT's Jordan Vilines has the story:

Try your best to pull up a seat with Jessica Pennington and you'll quickly learn that she'd much rather spin than sit.

“What else do you like besides ballerinas?” Jessica’s teacher, Melissa Ewers-Haddix, asked her on Friday. Jessica’s response was short and sweet. “Princesses,” she said.

This little princess's fairy tale is marked with both triumph and tragedy.

In 2012, a fire destroyed her family's home -- killing her brother, injuring her mother and leaving burns on 85% of Jessica’s body.

After spending months recovering in a Cincinnati hospital, she's back on her feet. Or, to be more accurate, she’s back on her toes.

“Once you know her and once you meet her. You don’t even notice anything else except that beaming personality,” Ewers-Haddix said.

So to celebrate her recovery, her teacher decided to wave her magic wand and set up something special.

“Saturday is my day of seeing ballerinas,” Jessica stated.

On Saturday, Jessica will get the chance to see a ballet for the second time as she and her teacher will make their way up to Lexington to attend the Kentucky Ballet's performance of "Sleeping Beauty" -- free of charge.

“I just wanted to do something for her to make her feel special because she is.”

So as Jessica heads into the next chapter of her fairy tale, there's no doubt that she'll be dancing her way to a happy ending.

The Kentucky Ballet is also allowing Jessica to go backstage after Saturday’s performance where she will have a meet and greet with the ballerinas.


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