Ten-month-old Tashiya Johnson begins her long road to recovery today at the burn unit of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Cincinnati.
The little girl suffered third-degree burns on 22 percent of her body in last week's Columbus Avenue apartment fire.
Brittney Penfield, 19, struggled to remain composed while explaining the trials ahead and praising Jesus for helping her save her daughter from the inferno.
The young mother said the swelling around her daughter's right eye has subsided, but her left eye remains shut from the burns. Doctors, she said, will be unsure of the extent of the damage until her burns have time to heal.
"They're going to try their best to make her skin look back to normal," Penfield said, explaining Tashiya will have to undergo skin grafts. "There will be scars. We will be with her 24/7."
Penfield said she believes God played a role in her daughter's survival.
"Jesus was in there definitely with the fire," Penfield said. "He put his arms around me and helped me get her out."
Penfield has her own interpretation of the "face" in Register photos of the blaze.
"I know that is definitely Jesus in those pictures," she said. "He was definitely looking down on us."
The Shriners hospital allows children and family to stay free of charge. After her daughter's recovery Penfield said her family will return to Sandusky to restart their lives.
Meanwhile, fire department personnel expect a cause for the blaze to be determined in a few days, said Sandusky Fire Assistant Chief Paul Ricci.
"At this point we're working to eliminate all of the potential causes," Ricci said, adding that cooking as well as gas and electric systems have been ruled out.