By Patrick Svitek
5:35 PM EST, February 7, 2013
Wesley Daniel, an actor burned while playing a fire-breathing stilt walker during a Lyic Opera dress rehearsal, was released this afternoon from Loyola University Medical Center.
"He's had a really good last 24 hours," Clifton Daniel, the actor's father, said during a news conference about an hour before his 24-year-old son Wesley was released. "I think he just wants to be home and take it easy."
Flames flared back on Wesley Daniel's face during the stunt and stagehands surrounded him with fire extinguishers.
The accident sent Wesley Daniel to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition. He was later transferred to Loyola, where he was treated for second-degree burns to the top layers of skin on his lower face.
He was released from Loyola around 1:30 p.m.
Clifton Daniel told reporters his son is still speaking in a "whispery croak" and mostly communicating with hand gestures.
It could take up to a week for Wesley Daniel to fully regain his voice, said Dr. Arthur Sanford, a Loyola burn surgeon who helped treat the actor.
"Probably about six months from now, this will be a bad memory," Sanford said.