From burn survivors throughout the world
Survivor X was living happily with his wife and his three boys. On one day in May while he was alone at home, he was trying to clean his yard and garage from the litter that had accumulated during the winter. He lived in a rural area that allowed to incinerators to burn trash. He started a fire with trash from the yard and as he started to clean the garage, he collected boxes and papers and placed them in the fire for destruction, there were several empty oil containers, somehow he picked a full container of injector cleaner and as he placed it in the incinerator it exploded in his face.
He remembers seeing the skin melt from his fingers as he was trying to put down the fire from his face. When the fire was out, he went inside the house and called 911, they arrived after 5-10 minutes. He was taken by an ambulance were he passed out. In August he was brought out of the drug induced coma and he was allowed to go home at the end of September.
He suffered third degree burns over 48% of his body from the waist to his eyebrows. His nose was burned away and one ear was completely gone as well as most of the other. He lost one eye because of scars covering the pupils; his vocal cords and larynx were damaged because of the flame inhalation. He has battled for seven years with polyps in the larynx affecting the amount of air he inhales. He lost all his fingers and thumbs and had the large toe of his right foot removed and placed on his right hand to give him an opposing grip. He has ongoing surgeries for reconstruction and polyps. The surgeries are not as frequent, but at this point he doesn’t see an end to the surgeries.
The survivor says “for me the most important asset I have had in recovery was my family. They have been there with help and encouragement and most of all love”. He is not the same person now. He learned tolerance, patience and compassion. He also says” the ability to laugh at ones self when things are not going well may mean the difference between being a survivor and being a victim. The road to a happy life is a lot shorter for the survivor than for the victim”.