Meet John Q. AKA: Batman
- Burn Survivor and proud Burn Thriver!
- Loves dancing, body building, animals, drawing,4-wheeling, and all things Batman
- Wants to inspire others to accept themselves as they are
- Condition: Burn Survivor
Being a survivor of horrible burns at age 4 is an unimaginable way to begin early life. Johnny has overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles and now is using his horrific experience and its consequences to inspire others.
The fire began in a barn behind his family’s home where Johnny was playing when his dog Max’s tail knocked over a candle being used for light. The developing inferno claimed Max’s life, who tried to save him. His young sister, Leah, bravely pulled him out of the fire and got help. Though doctors didn’t expect him to make it through the night, Johnny defied the overwhelming odds. After being airlifted to a burn unit, placed in a coma for six months, enduring over 100 surgeries (with more still to come), and powering through countless hours of physical therapy, Johnny is now a proud burn thriver.
Though he wouldn’t wish his experience on anyone, he says what he’s been through has ultimately made him a deeper, more caring person with great empathy he uses to help others.
Johnny’s burns covered over 95% of his body and almost all his skin remains deeply scarred. Yet he says his deepest scars have been to his heart & soul from cruel and thoughtless people including being called a monster. The emotional and mental toll impacted him greatly, through which he battled anorexia, cutting, and contemplating suicide.
A major turning point came a few years ago when he attended a Shriners Burn Survivors camp where he made the decision not to let stranger’s words wound him and felt a new empowerment for the first time. He began listening to singer Colton Dixon, whose music motivated him to keep on going, particularly a song with the lyrics “Scars remind us who we are”. He began to realize that being burned did not mean the end; it was a new beginning.
Johnny believes each of us should embrace our differences and share our stories. He constantly inspires others who have gone through similar tragedies and emotional difficulties with his positive and courageous attitude, telling them:
- I am more than what I was
- I wouldn’t be the strong and confident person I am today without the accident
- I wouldn’t know all the great people I know now
- I am a burn survivor and a proud burn thriver! My scars show “I survived”
- I believe that everything happens for a reason
- I don’t let depression own me anymore
Why I want to inspire and help others:
There are 1.5 million people burned each year globally and more than half of those people are hiding. I know what they’re feeling, and it just doesn’t have to be that way. Also, most people don’t know how to react when they see a burn survivor – this causes the burn survivors to hide, because they hate the reactions. I think if I can be a part of educating the public and helping spread awareness, to help build up other burn survivors with confidence to go on about their days shamelessly in public. I’d just love to be the person to help make that happen.
“No one deserves to be unhappy in the way they look, because we’re all beautifully unique. Just sometimes other flowers get more colors (like us, people who have gone through tragedy) and we just don’t think we fit in with the rest of the flowers. But the truth is, we are the most beautiful of all the flowers. So embrace your different colors, you’re pretty, there’s no one else like you.” Quote by Johnny Quinn
Dream of a Lifetime
Several years ago, Johnny was empowered when he made the decision not to let stranger’s words hurt him anymore. He began listening to singer Colton Dixon, whose music motivated him to keep going. Through the lyrics of one song “scars remind us who we are”, Johnny realized that being burned was a different and new beginning. It was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon & on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true! READ MORE
Johnny embodies the true meaning of the Foundation’s Courageous Spirit Award. With a passion and drive to help others not just accept, but feel good about themselves, he leads by example with his amazing attitude and love of life. Johnny inspires everyone to embrace who they are and to enjoy each day THRIVING not just surviving.
Johnny, who is a HUGE Batman fan, is a young man from Tennessee working towards his dream of becoming an actor. He enjoys pressing iron at the gym and hanging out with his siblings. Johnny loves talking to people and inspiring others to feel good about themselves, however Johnny has not always felt this way.
Because it was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon, on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true!
* Batman Video of Colton Inviting Johnny to Concert https://dereksevans.com/wp-content/uploads/video/Colton-Outreach-to-Johnny.mp4
It all started at the Courageous Faces Foundation Denver SuperHeroes Gala, where after reaching out to Colton Dixon, the Foundation received a video that was played as a surprise to Johnny, our Courageous Spirit Award Winner. It was a personal invitation from Colton Dixon, dressed as Batman, to join him as his guest at an upcoming concert. The foundation then provided and made the travel arrangements for Johnny to fly to Knoxville, Tennessee to both attend Colton’s Positive Air Tour performance at the Knoxville Coliseum and to meet the amazing singer whose music had changed his life.
The trip was a whirlwind 48-hours of excitement that Johnny was able to share with his sister Leah. The day of the big event started with Johnny, Leah and Courageous Faces Foundation Senior Program Manager Dee Nichols being interviewed by Mark Packer at Channel 8 NEWS WVLT TV. The group was then whisked off to the coliseum to attend a VIP Question & Answer session followed by the long-awaited personal meet & greet for Johnny with Colton.
As Johnny and Colton met, the time was filled with incredible smiles, nonstop hugs, sharing of stories, and exchanging of gifts. Johnny gave Colton a Foundation T-shirt and hat as well as an extraordinary drawing of Colton and his wife that Johnny had stayed up all night to draw. Colton presented Johnny with a T-shirt and CD and then in an amazing surprise, asked his manager to set up a second time for the two to get together after the concert where he could play his song Scars. The concert itself rocked the house & had everyone on their feet for four hours dancing and singing to Colton Dixon, Tauren Wells, Gawvi, Britt Nicole and Skillet.
The second meet and greet was as amazing as the first and Johnny got a personal introduction to all of Colton’s band members. The two live streamed on Facebook together and Colton personally played his song “Scars” just for Johnny–the song that had turned his life around.
*Colton Singing Privately to Johnny * https://dereksevans.com/wp-content/uploads/video/Colton-Facebook-Live-Video-with-Johnny-Edited-Verison-from-Orginial-mp4-2.mp4
It was a night that truly fulfilled and exceeded a lifelong dream for Johnny and was a privilege for everyone that got to experience it with him. Many of you helped make that possible. Thank you for supporting the Courageous Faces Foundation!
Together we can make a difference. One Person . . . One Family . . . At A Time!
It was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon & on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true! Read More