Zoni Makes a Remarkable Recovery After Serious Burn Injury
Zoni's our little girl that was at Nationwide Children's Hospital for 35 days. My family started vacationing in northwestern Michigan in 1988 and it's been a family tradition every summer since then. We make plans to go up there for a week. The family spent their first day on the beach. We got back to the house. The boys went off to do what the boys were doing and I took the girls to get some firewood.
All of us, we help pitch in, throw logs in, and we had the fire going really well. We're not sure really what happened. Our 7 year old told us that she ran past him while they were playing tag or something and looked at him over her shoulder and then stumbled and fell right into the fire. What happened next is something that I wish I'd never seen before. I heard the screaming and then I saw - she could see what had happened and I couldn't because - she was just sitting on her bottom with her hands back trying to hold her and she was just covered in flames. Her pants and her shirt were on fire in the back.
It ate away her clothes. I was putting the flames out on her clothing and then I held her, while he called 911. Zoni was stabilized in Michigan.
After a couple days, she was taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital. It wasn't until we got to Columbus that they decided it was 20 percent, full thickness, and then she had some additional first and second degree burns on her back. Her back, her upper and lower extremities were quite deep as you can imagine from being exposed to the fire.
Zoni's condition was bad. So doctors decided to put her in an induced coma for six days. It was hard on us to see her in that condition and I think she was there in that ICU for about 18 days. During the course of that time, music therapists played and sang Zoni's favorite songs. We could tell that she liked it because even though she wasn't that responsive, her eyes would twitch to her favorite songs or she'd kind of grin a little tiny bit. Zoni had one procedure to clear away the dead skin. After that, she underwent skin graft surgeries.
Soon after, Zoni was returning to her old self. Throughout Zoni's 35 days at Nationwide Children's, child life specialists distracted her with toys, games, books, music and art. That was the biggest blessing for us because without that, she was just very scared and emotional.
It takes a big team to take of patients with burns. Including psychology, social workers, recreational therapists, massage therapists, musical therapists and so forth. The Christine Wilson Burn Center at Nationwide Children's treats infants through young adults whose burns cover anywhere from one to 85 percent of their bodies. We use the newest technologies and treatments. From our advanced operating rooms, spacious procedure rooms right on the unit floor, to unique distractions meant to ease the biggest worries of our littlest patients. Burn injuries are much more than just the wound itself. It's not just the disease of the skin, it's a big impact of psychological problem. The hospital saved her life.
At Zoni's follow up appointments, she's checked by a team including physicians and occupational and physical therapists. Depending on her progress over the next nine to 20 months, Zoni will wear compression garments on her legs and one of her arms. We're just thankful that she survived. She's doing great, she's back in school. Every child we feel like it's our child.
One smile or one picture drawn by a child makes your heart wrap around and forget about all the effort and pain we have to go through.
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