Sunday, March 2, 2008

We leave for Boston in the morning..

David and I leave tomorrow morning for Shriners Hospital in Boston where he will have surgery on Tuesday morning to re work an area of scarring on his leg that was badly burned 4 years ago.

The surgery itself is relatively minor compared to all he has endured the last 4 years with the injury. I however, am dreading it. Maybe not so much that it is yet another surgery, another hospital stay but because of all the memories of the days surrounding his burn injury and the helplessness and guilt I still feel over it all.

For those of you who weren't around 4 years ago when this happened, it was 2 days after Christmas and it was a beautiful warm day which is very uncommon for December in CT. We had close to 55 degrees and warm sunshine. We were working in the yard, just doing some yard work that we had not gotten around to in the fall. The boys had a campfire going which is something we would do from time to time... we had been feeding the fire with small branches we were cleaning out of the yard. David had gone into the barn and was sitting on the ATV which, unknown to us, had a gas leak. What we think happened, is that he had gas on his shoes and maybe even his pant leg from sitting on the ATV. He got close to the fire and the gas ignited. I was working about 30 feet away when it happened and Jake let out a yell that still rings through my ears today... he yelled " Mom, David is on fire!!"" It makes my stomach sick to think of it and I can still hear those words clear as can be. I turned around trying to wrap my brain around the words that I had just heard to see David just standing there in flames. I ran to him and pushed him to the ground and started trying to beat the fire with my hands.. I quickly realized that it wasn't going to work and that I was burning my hands trying so I took my sweater off and managed to smother the flames with the sweater. by the time the flames were out, David was in shock and his pant leg was gone up to his knee on his left leg revealing how bad the burn was. By now Ryan had called 911 and emergency services were showing up in our yard. David and I were Air lifted to the Burn unit that became our home for the next 6+ weeks. David had many surgeries and in March we transferred his care to Shriners Pediatric Burn Hospital in Boston where they finished up some of the very stubborn areas that we were having a hard time getting to heal. David had 3rd and 4th degree burns to about 30% of his body... For those who don't understand the degree system when it comes to burns.. 3rd degree is through all 7 layers of skin and almost always requires grafting to repair, 4th degree is through the skin layers, through the fat layer to muscle, and there is a 5th degree which is to bone.

Today, David is pretty much scarred from the waist down. His left leg where the burn injury was is scarred and the back of his knee and around his ankles where the scarring meets healthy skin it gets very thick and ropey... burn scars don't grow at the same rate as healthy skin, so he is literally outgrowing his skin right now leaving the bending areas around the knee and around the ankle very tight and he is loosing the ability to straighten his leg out because of this. What they are going to do is a series of scar revisions called z-plasty to give him more growing room.
We are hopeful that this will be minor surgery and he will be back up and running in a week or so.
I am going to have Dave try to update the page this week while we are gone... and as soon as I have access to a computer again I will let you all know how it went.

After David's accident, I put an online photo album together of his injury and recovery.. mostly to send to the Dr.s in Boston, but also to help other burn survivors. I have always had the photo album password protected because some of the photo's are pretty gruesome and show the injury before successful repairs could be made. However, after 4 years I think I feel comfortable sharing the photo's with anyone who might be interested in seeing them... I warn you though.. they are not for the faint of heart... it has been a long road to get him to where he is...
If you want to see them click on the photo album link on the bottom of the page where the portrait of the kids is... once at my photo site, look for the Album that says Private at the bottom.. you will get a prompt for a password... the password is davidk
You will see the progression of the injury from the very beginning to where he is completely healed.

I will update again when we get back.

Until then.....



Anonymous said...

Oh my God, Vicki...Bless his sweet little heart! Brought tears to my eyes to see him still managing a sweet smile on his face in the pictures. After everything he'd been through, still smiling, looking like a worn out angel sleeping in his bed. He's made an amazing recovery, I can't believe how good his leg looks now! Hope you have a short & uneventful hospital stay! I'll be thinking of you all.
Linda, Mom to Natalie

Anonymous said...

We are keeping all of you in our prayers! We are sop glad to hear that he is doing so much better. God Bless you all.
Joe & Cyndi David-7 mos PWS