Memorial Day weekend, 2013, Christian was spending the weekend with his family at the river. A bonfire was lit, the ATV was out, and everyone was enjoying a beautiful spring evening after a long day on the river. Christian was sitting in a chair in front of the bonfire when the ATV that was behind his chair lurched forward causing his chair and him to be tossed into the bonfire. The ATV came to a stop on top of him and had to be pulled off. Once Christian was free, he jumped up and ran, his family chasing him to put the fire out that was on his shorts. They put the fire out and gathered him up and rushed to the closest local hospital. He arrived and was told they would have to air lift him to Lebhoneur Childrens Hospital due to his burns were more than they were equipped to handle.
The helicopter arrived and had Christian at Lebhoneur within 45 minutes. We spent 2 days at Lebhoneur going through debridement of the skin where he was burned. The Doctors that were on call asked to speak to Christians father and I about other options and offered Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati as they specialize in burn victims. We didn’t take long to decide that we needed to go where Christian was going to get the help he needed. We still didn’t really know how bad his burns were, just that our son was in pain and needed help to heal.
The Shriners set everything up, scheduled to have an ambulance transport Christian from Memphis, TN to Cincinnati, OH. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a team of nurses and Dr’s. They started telling us what the next steps would be, how things would be handled and what we could expect. They had a room ready for Christian and upon arrival to the room they started the process of helping him heal. We were advised that we would be a part of everything that was done to our son. If there were dressing changes to be done, we would be taught how to do them, and they would be there to monitor. The baths were to be done by us and they would monitor. This helped us to help heel our child and to be prepared once we were ready to go home but we had lots to do before that. We spent the first 7 days completing cleanings, baths and physical therapy. They evaluated Christian for his donor sites and set up when surgery would be. On June 3rd, 2013, Christian underwent donor skin surgery and on June 4th, 2013 this skin was placed where his previous burns had been. He had sustained 3rd degree thermal burns on 13% of his body. From the mid part of his thighs to the tips of his toes on the front part of his legs were burned and the skin had to be removed. Christian stayed in a moisture wrap for 5 days while the skin adhered to the tissue. After the moisture wrap was removed, he started physical therapy again to regain the movement in his knees, ankles and toes. We were taught how to do all of it along with the direction of the physical therapist guidance. The Shriners fit Christian with special garments that were to be worn every day. When he showered he would have another set washed and ready to be put on. This was to ensure that the grafts stayed and healed appropriately. Once they were satisfied that we had been trained and knowledgeable in what needed to be done we were released home with wound therapy directions on June 17th, 2013. The Shriners set up appointments for us to return for checkups and scheduled a wound therapy Dr in our area to check up on him between visits.
Christian has no limitations. He plays football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. We thank The Shriners for everything they did, not only for our son but for us as well. They had counselors available, provided us with living arrangements and took care of everything needed to help our son heal. We are forever grateful for what they did for us.
The Andrews Family