My story begins on May the 11th, when I was only eight years old. It was just ten days after my mother’s birthday, and as it turned out, it was not going to be a day like any other, but one filled with heartbreak and loss. On this day, due to faulty wiring, our trailer caught fire early in the morning. I remember waking up on my top bunk looking around in the smoke, then started coughing and passed out. The next thing I remember I was laying in an ambulance with my dad crying over me and all I could ask was where’s mom and bub(brother) before passing back out. I was unaware that my dad was the one who pulled me out of the fire and that my mother Melissa and little brother Caine never made it out.
I remember very little of the next weeks: being stabilized in Poteau before being flown to Hillcrest Burn Center in Tulsa; my aunt Billie coming to meet me; being in the hospital shower chair and the most horrible painful burn dressing changes anyone could imagine. But as horrible as it was, I was doing pretty well. I was in the burn unit a total of three weeks and when I was released on a Friday, my condition became a nightmare no one could’ve have seen coming.
Over the weekend, I started getting a rash and by Monday morning when my Dad went to help me into the bath, my skin just started ripping off at the slightest touch. I was admitted back into the Hillcrest hospital where the doctor said I was having a reaction to the medicine I had been given. By Wednesday the doctor said my rash was looking better but I kept saying I was cold so they wrapped me in heated blankets. Sadly it wasn’t helping, I was losing body temperature really fast and by Friday my skin just started to fluff off and the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It was then that two doctors, Dr Banner and Dr Barton, heard of my symptoms. They had treated one other similar case and had me immediately emergency transported over to Saint Francis hospital. There I was put into an induced coma and put on a special bed called a bear hugger so that it would maintain my body heat.
The doctors then told my family that I had Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and that it is highly rare. It meant that not only had I been burned on the outside in the fire, but that I was now also burning from the inside out due to the drug reaction. They said that it would be up to God and me if I were to make it through the next fourteen days, but they promised I wouldn’t remember or feel any pain. Over the next month, while still in a induced coma, they gradually started weaning me off certain meds and they wrapped my body in synthetic skin to maintain my body heat and give my skin time to grow back. As all this was happening on the outside, the inside of my body was just as bad. The inside layers of my skin were doing the same as the outside and both my lungs had collapsed.
After a month, when I was brought out of the induced coma, I had to endure a lot of different operations. I had to learn how to swallow and eat again as well. They had to sew both of my eyes shut so they could heal. I was completely blind for quite awhile but after such a long period of time, I opened my left eye on my own because I couldn’t stand not being able to see anymore. After being in Saint Francis and coming out of ICU, I was doing well enough that I was able to be transferred to Children’s Medical Center so that I could do physical therapy and all sorts of other rehab.
While at Children’s Medical Center, I had to learn how to walk again which was painful and difficult. The worst of the physical therapy was when my skin grew back on my right arm, it had grown back together bent at an angle so they had to physically pull and stretch the skin everyday until it was at least straight enough for me to use. I had to learn to use my other senses to compensate for being partially blind and had to wear sunglasses all the time due to the light sensitivity. While I was in the hospital, I attended school with the other kids that were there so I didn’t fall behind even though I missed an entire year of my regular school. Around November,I begged the doctor to let me go home for thanksgiving since I was doing so well and after a lot of work, I got a weekend pass for thanksgiving. That weekend, my family and I had a lot to be thankful for. Little did I know that just a few short weeks later, just before Christmas, I would be released and free to go home for good. After seven long hard months of recovery, the best gift of all was to be home just in time for Christmas.Cool Things to Know About Me Are That I Like:
- Video Games
- Superheroes (especially BATMAN)
- Going out with friends and family
- They are the same thing, but TENS covers more surface of the body
- They are caused by an allergic reaction to meds, so try and be aware of what you’re allergic to and what kind of reactions the medicine given can cause
- They both effect all the internal mucous membranes causing many things including the inability to produce saliva – this in turn causes long term teeth problems as well
- They both can cause the body to stop producing tears resulting in many eye issues
- They both cause respiratory complications from the over production of mucus in the sinuses and lungs.
- Always have smoke alarms throughout your house
- Have an escape plan and routinely go over it with you’re family
- Teach fire safety to you’re kids including not to play with matches or lighters
- Stuff happens and sometimes life is hard
- You can’t just dwell on the past or the negative
- Life is a special gift so try and share that with others
- Something as simple as a friendly smile could change someone’s whole day for the better
- No matter what others may say or think about you, what matters is how you feel about yourself. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is if you can live with the way you are
- Know that God has a plan for you and even in the darkness, He will shine a light