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Sunday, April 11th at 1pm Scarlett climbed up on the chair in the kitchen while Kevin and I were looking at something on the computer. I had poured hot tea into my travel cup as I was about to go study for Physiology. She reached as far as she could and managed and grabbed the edge of the cup, spilling the tea down her arm. We heard the sound of the spill followed by a blood curdling scream. She flung herself off the chair as Kevin leap under her landing on his back catching her moments before her head hit the floor.  It was like the touchdown of a big game as she was hurling head first toward the floor.

He handed her to me and I shoved her body under the cold water and began to strip off her fleece long sleeve PJs to assess how bad it was. The skin was completely gone, hanging off her arm  like candle wax, which is when I said "we need to go now". We piled into the car, dragging Ava along as she happened to be super sick with stomach pains. Kevin only ran 1 red light and we made it to urgent care in 3 minutes. They whisked us in and asked us How do you felt about Tylenol with Codeine? We said please give her all the pain meds she can safely handle. I guess some parents choose to not give the codeine, not that surprising as we are in Santa Cruz.  Within 20 minutes she fell asleep and they bandaged up her arm and showed us how to do bandage changes until they see her next week.

Scarlett had a 2nd degree burn on her forearm and was seen by the doctors from the burn unit and plastics at Valley Medical. The moment I heard she may need surgery, my ears got all fuzzy and then I could not really hear anything else after that. Thanks goodness Kevin was there to help me hold it together. I tried to convince myself this wasn't really needed and they did not know what they were talking about, but this did not work and surgery was scheduled for the following week, 3 weeks since the actual burn. They would take skin from her bottom using a tool that resembles a cheese slicer and sew this skin on her arm.

We left Santa Cruz before sunrise arriving at the hospital super early as Scarlett could not eat or drink anything. The doctors admitted her and gave her medicine to make her loopy and it worked like magic. It is an odd sight to see your baby so high and doped up. The anesthesiologist came in and I handed her over and he carried her away.  I thought this is when I would break down and cry as this was the moment I dreaded. But it was ok, I felt she was safe and she was so doped up she did not really notice being taken away. I sat in the waiting room and tried to study for the 40 minutes she was in surgery and was soon told it was finished and went smoothly. I was able to see her when she woke up.

 I was not prepared for what I saw when they brought me to her. There were so many wires and tubes and she had some bruising and scratches that happened when she woke up form the anesthesia. Which is why she was sleeping, they had to make her sedate her so she would not hurt herself. They wheeled her crib-bed to the burn unit where she would recover and spend the next 4 days. I was given a gown, gloves, and a hair net to wear the entire time I was there. She eventually woke up and they helped me hold her which was hard because of the wires and tubes. She was connected to this vacuum machine that applied a constant suction to the graft site which is the best way to heal a graft and has to be worn for the next 4 days.

The first day was super hard and monotonous. I tried to keep her busy while also keep her from walking around as she was tethered to this machine. I quickly realized that she would walk with or with out this machine, so a nurse helped me set it up on an IV stand. We then spent the next 3 days walking around the hospital, all day long. Kevin and Ava visited us which broke up the days, but overall it dragged on. That being said it was an amazing experience and brought Scarlett and I closer. I realized how lucky we were as I was told the majority of the kids that end up in the burn unit have more devastating burns, mostly on their faces and neck from pulling hot things down on themselves. The guy in the room next to us was covered head to toe in bandages. His burn was resulting from a propane explosion and it seemed as thought he was barely stable

Scarlett now wears a fitted nylon zip up arm band 24 hours a day with lots of lotion and her arm is healing well. We cant let her get sun on her arm for pretty much forever, and she will wear this arm band for at least another year, but with proper care, the scars should be barely noticeable by the time she is an adult. This experience was awful, but that being said, I feel it was a wake up call of how lucky we are and how we take it for granted having healthy children. I wanted to write this story as time seems to fade memories and this is one I don't want to forget.
45 minutes after burn


Few days after burn

2 weeks after burn
Right after surgery
Her cage - Uh I mean crib
Recovering with mama 

Daddy's visit
Walking the halls





The vacuum bandage
about 1 month after surgery

After the vacuum comes off

11 comments:

Kari said...

oh my goodness...I can't imagine how difficult that must have been for all of you! I'm glad to see that Scarlett is doing better and I must say, that picture of her walking around with the IV is cuter than it should be considering the circumstances!

Hockey Wife said...

Wow. You guys have been through so much. Those pictures made me cry. I have a 27 month old little boy so it all hits home. What a sweet, sweet little girl you have. I am so sorry you guys have had to endure this but I am so thankful that it wasn't worse, that she will be just fine, all in due time. Thoughts and prayers from my family to yours, as she recovers.

Short Leg Lucy said...

I bawled to say the least...this story is so real and it doesn't make anyone any less of a parent, it just goes to show how fast things happen...when we very least expect it to. I am so sorry for your traumatic experience, such a strong woman!

No. 7 said...

Wow. I'm crying..seriously bawling and my children are eyeballing me as if I'm a complete nut.
Our youngest is about the same age as Scarlett and, to see a child injured and to think of the pain that she must have endured is just heart-wrenching.
I can't tell you how many times, with three children, we have had near misses with serious injury. I tend to joke about it to lighten things up, but seriously... we are so thankful. You turn your back for one second...
I'm swallowing the lump in my throat. I hope you all recover, emotionally and physically. Best to you!!

DebbieM said...

Oh my word! Poor little thing! Yeah, that is a wake up call to be extra aware of our surroundings. This could so easily happen to anyone. Thanks for sharing your story.

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Oh my goodness!! Poor little one!! SO glad she's recovering well! It does open your eyes to accidents happening at any time! Thanks for the post!

Susi said...

Wow, super mom, the pictures make me want to cry. I'm so sensitive when it's about kids. So glad it healed well! My of my co-worker's little daughter had a similar accident when she was 2, but worse I think, a pot of boiling water. She was pretty badly injured and I think she still has scars. How terrible it must be when accidents happen in your own home.

Chrissy said...

OMG - I can only imagine what you have been through! Those pics and your story make me wanna cry! Poor baby - she was so brave! Thank you for sharing your story - we do tend to take things for granted - this totally reminded me! xxx

Debber Doo said...

Omgosh I teared up just reading this! Poor baby! I am so glad she is doing better! What a supermom to be able to stand with baby in this tough time, I can only imagine your heartbreak! What a strong momma you are! Glad your little beauty is ok!

Ashley said...

Oh man, I'm so sorry! That would be so incredibly hard! Thank you for sharing your story. It is always so uplifting to read about other Moms and how they deal with every thing that happens... the good and the bad! It gives me strength to deal too!

Summer Dawn said...

Thanks for all your comments, I truly appreciate it. I posted a 9 month update on Scarlett's burn. She is doing much better.She will always have a scar but hopefully n o more surgeries.

http://www.supermomblog.com/2011/01/burn-update-9-months-post-op.html

Thanks again,
Summer

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