At 1:50pm on July 2, 2014, we heard a bang and a scream in the garage. Aunt Lorene was washing dishes at the kitchen sink. She saw Max run out of the garage door and shouted, “Max is on fire!” Nat ran out the back door to the porch and I ran down the back hall. Markus opened the door and I saw Max walking with his shirt and hair in flames into the house. I patted some flames out as he walked down the back hall and Lorene threw a bowl of water on him in the kitchen. He went to the kitchen sink where we ran his hands under water. His face and most of his hair was singed. The whole time, he kept saying, “I’m sorry, Mom & Dad. I was just making a firework. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m going to be fine.”
He took his clothes off in the kitchen and we put him in our bathtub under cold water. He said an explosion went off and He was blinded by the light and stumbled around, then ran into the house.
While he was in the tub, Markus and I gave him a priesthood blessing. I carried him to the van and we rushed him to the AF hospital.
I carried him into the ER and they showed me the bed to lay him in. The doctors gave him morphine and then a sleeping gas. Even after he was out, he kept trying to sit up. It was so painful to see. They put in a breathing tube and 2 IVs.
They moved him to another room and told us they would life flight him to the Burn Center at U of U. The flight team arrived and said they needed to wash him before transporting him so they didn’t bring chemicals into the Burn Center. We told them that we had already washed Max off in the bath. Gratefully, they didn’t wash him again.
They moved him to the stretcher, wheeled him to the helicopter, and flew him to U of U. Nat and I drove straight there.
[Max being life-flighted to U of U Burn Center]
He was in the ER when we arrived since there were no rooms in the Burn Center, then they moved him to the Burn Center. His eyes were swollen shut. Once he was in the Burn Center, Nat and I were sent to the waiting room while they debrided him. While Nat and I waited, a head nurse came out and introduced himself. He told us that this is a critical illness, and we needed to know that Max could die. Since he had 3rd degree burns on 40% of his body, he would be in the hospital for 2-3 months and might not make it. When he left, I prayed: “Father, we need Thee every hour, and we need Thee this hour. Spare our son. Sweet Jesus, have mercy. Father, we believe. Help thou our unbelief. Let our son live. But if not, we will still believe.”
Two hours later, Dr. L came in and sat down. She said that Max had 3rd degree burns on 30% of his body, and 2nd degree burns on 10%, but those could become 3rd degree burns. She described the long hard process of recovery. She reported a central line that had been put in because the IVs had failed. She said it was an emergency procedure to keep fluids flowing to him.
Dr. L. described escharotomy, a procedure of releasing pressure in areas where the blood flow is restricted by the burnt skin. The loss of blood flow can result in dead tissue. In Max’s case, his hands had really high pressure. The nurse said that if we didn’t do escharotomy right away, he could lose fingers (or worse). She said the pressure in the eyes was so great he could go blind. Natalie stated very clearly that we wanted to be as minimally invasive as possible. Dr. L. said we could wait another 30 minutes to decide.
One of the goals of the first night is to reduce the liquid intake from 1000 ml/hr to 190 ml/hr. In order to reduce the liquid, they need to see enough urine coming out. Miracle #1: He totally started urinating and met the goal of going down to 190!
An hour later, the head of the Burn Center, Dr. M., came to talk to us with Dr. L. He spoke about his 30 years of experience in burn care. He said he is a man of faith, and that he believes in a balance of allopathic and homeopathic care. He was open to us using essential oils in Max’s treatment. We agreed to give Max 1 more hour to see if the pressure had gone down in his arms and hands. We kept slathering the oils on him, Dr. M. did the test, and his numbers were all within acceptable range. The escharotomy that Dr. L. was planning on doing just hours earlier was evaded!
We are expecting miraculous results!
- None of the other kids were home at the time of the accident
- We DID have a full team of helpers at home (Nat, Andy, Lorene, Heidi, Markus)
- Lorene was at the kitchen window to see him, and had a bowl of water
- Able to use oils in Silver cream and on face
- Urine output – fluid down every hour since midnight – 190 ml/hr by 7
- NO ESCHAROTOMIES!!!!
- Eye pressure came back to normal (low 20s) – keep his vision and no incisions!
- Significant reduction in swelling of his face and neck.