Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary Challenge

Two years ago today, my life changed. My husband was on a deployment for a one year tour overseas and my sister had come to visit for the week with her two children, Noah and Autumn. We had gone strawberry picking with my MOPS group and our children and ended up with a TON of strawberries. In all the excitement of what we could make using strawberries, I got caught up in the idea of chocolate dipped strawberries. So off I went to the kitchen to make a chocolate fondue to dip them in.
I made the "fondue" like I always did... one pan stacked on top of the other with boiling water in the bottom pan and the fondue ingredients in the top pan. We had added a little too much cream and needed to add a little more chocolate, and so I had to go searching through my kids' Easter candy to make up the difference. When all the chocolate finally melted and the fondue was ready for the strawberries to be dipped, I reached over the pan to turn the burner off and the pan blew up in my face, causing severe 2nd degree burns all over the left side of my face, neck, arm, and abdomen. My sister was leaning over me taking in the aroma of the melted chocolate when the explosion happened and ended up with burns to her forehead and right eye. The explosion threw us both to the other side of the kitchen and we both struggled to find our footing. I don't remember much from that point on until we got to the hospital and I was able to calm down after several doses of morphine. My husband was called by the American Red Cross, my family was informed and my children were taken care of by some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I was taken via ambulance to the burn unit in Augusta, GA from Savannah, GA (two hours south). The had originally called in the medivac (helicoptor) to transport me because they had a hard time stablizing me, but in the end, I stablized enough to go via ambulance. It was the longest trip I had ever taken in my life, or so it felt. I felt so alone... the ride was quiet and I was exhausted... and still in excruciating pain. I was admitted into one of the best burn units in the United States taken in for surgery the next morning to scrub away the burnt skin. Doctor's Hospital in Augusta, GA did an amazing job in repairing my burns as well as my sisters burns. We were well taken care of and my family really swept in and did everything they could to keep me & my sister comfortable and upbeat. I was in the hospital for nearly 5 days and I got to go home (to my Mom's house in Augusta) when my husband flew in on Saturday. The two weeks following that was an even bigger blur, as they had given me some really good pain meds.
In the surgery, after they had scrubbed all the burnt skin away, they covered it with various healing agents: pig skin, cadaver skin, and a manufactured skin called "biobrain." Two weeks post surgery, all of the healing agents had peeled away and my skin had completely repaired itself. I serve a Great God... and He gets all the credit for my quick recovery. All I was left with was very pink/red skin and a slightly shaven hairline where the burns had burnt my scalp near and above my ear. My scars are minimal now and the only time they are really evident is if I get overheated and/or my bloodpressure goes up (like when I'm upset). We joke now about knowing when Sara's mad because her burns glow, but I can assure you, at the time, it was no joking matter. I thought I was going to die... and for a little while, so did the docs at the hospital in Savannah. It was by far the scarriest thing I've ever endured, and I'm thankful for the family, friends, and strength that God gave me to get through it.
In honor of my Anniversary, I'd like to propose a challenge. There are millions of burn victims all over the world... my challenge to you is to
make a card and send it to a burn victim.
You can check out this site to find a burn center to send cards to in the United States. A little bit of caring goes a long way.
To send a card to someone in the burn unit that I was cared for in, the address is:
3651 Wheeler Rd
Augusta, GA 30909
United States
Address your card to "Burn Victim."

One of the biggest steps in recovery of any kind of trauma, burn or not, is talking about what happened and realizing the great blessing of having victory over an uncontrolled situation. Thanks for listening and helping me spread awareness. If you'd like to see pictures of my burns, Ihave added a second post titled "My Burn Pictures". Discression is advised in looking at these pictures (I wouldn't view them while my 3 year old is nearby). They are not edited, enhanced, or censored at all. I highly recommend you view the pictures, though... it brings a sense of "realness" to my story... somewhat of a toss into reality of the severity.

Thanks for listening... take the challenge. Send a smile to a burn victim!

13 comments:

Gina Juliet said...

Great challange. I posted this to my blog so others could read it as well. Hope you don't mind.

Debbie Yates said...

You are amazing....I love you - Momma

Suzanne said...

I will make a card and send it off !!! you are a very brave woman and Mum ( who is one of my SBS9) must be so proud of you. Sue :o)

Lastel said...

Oh sweet Sara , I read your story and saw your pictures and it brought tears to my eyes as I read it again to my fiance . I can only imagine the pain you were in as the worst burns I ever had was as a teenager when I splattered hamberger grease on my upper right leg and had a half dozen blisters like the ones I saw on your arm . You are one amazing woman and I am so glad that you are one of or SBS10 group , we are truely blessed that you are one of our sisters ! {{{{{{Big Hugs}}}}}}

Suzanne said...

Sara if you would like to see the card I am sending you can see it here Sue :o)
slumbercards.blogspot.com/2008/04/cct-one-for-girls-burns-unit.html

Alexandra said...

Sara, you are amazing! You are a very strong woman, and I am so glad God was watching out for you!! Thanks for sharing your story...reminds us all how very precious life really is! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

Latisha said...

Oh how terrible! Thank goodness you lived close to such a good burn trauma center!

Chris said...

what an amazing story!!! i wish i felt better right now to make a card...but it will have to wait. it's truly amazing what we all endure in our little lifetimes!!!

Sarah said...

Sara, you are truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. Your strength will lift up so many people as they look for the kind of support that you give by just sharing your story. When we are going through these types of trying times, its hard to believe that other people have experienced the same thing. We should always be a support to each other. There is not enough of that in this world. Hugs to you my sistah! (sbs10)

Alyssa Walters said...

WOW...I am left speechless! We do serve a GREAT GOD -- He is a great big Amazing God, and I'm so thankful that He healed you so well and so quickly (although I'm sure at the time it didn't seem quickly.) Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for encouraging us to care for others who are in such pain! You're so inspiring!

Chrissy said...

Wow, I just popped by after the comments you left on my blog, lovely to see you....I haven't been and visited my sistahs as much as I normally do, but what an amazing story ..........and what amazing courage you have ...hug ChrissyX

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! It's so scary that something totally random like this can happen to anyone. I would absolutely love to participate in this challenge.

Anonymous said...

My cousin was severely burned as a young child, 12 years on his skin is still healing, this is a great appeal.

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