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
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!