THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE THAT HAVE LIVED THIS EXPERIENCE WITH MY SON AND I, THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND LOVE, AND MOST OF ALL FOR MAKING ME FEEL LIKE I BELONG SOMEWHERE AFTER ALL...WE COULD NOT HAVE MADE IT WITHOUT ALL OF YOU. AGAIN THANKYOU ALL.....
2/27/98 One day to go and a pre-pre-Daytona party in progress at our home. All our local friends drinking and sitting outside in our back yard around our cast iron fire ring talking and planning for the next day. The kids in the house are yelling and laughing as they know there will be a big party at our home next day and there will be people to meet and rooms to set up and a lot of excitement as Harleys pull in from all over the east coast. Talk between the men about lighting the fire early in the morning so they can smoke a big hunk of beef purchased the day before. Laughing and talking of the road trip scheduled for the 1st when all will leave for Daytona bikeweek. Good-byes are said and promises of calling early, last minute suggestions on dishes and recipes that should be brought by the next day. Then quietness and all in bed. 2/28/98 Playful teasing as hubby and I lay in bed not wanting to face the day with hangovers, but knowing we had to get out of bed and start preparations for the arriving bikers and the party that would follow. Hollering at our daughter to make coffee and promises of, we’ll be out of bed by the time it is made. Looking at hubby and telling him to get out of bed. Stumbling down stairs holding my hand out for coffee while looking out the back window and moaning to see the beer cans thrown all over the back yard. Thinking hubby would have to light the fire soon. Shouting to the kids playing sega, Hey go out and pick up the beer cans please…2 boys and 1 girl exit through the back door with trash bags, playfully pushing and taunting each other as they start to pick up the beer cans. I smile, pour a cup of coffee, I sit holding my head in my hands and grab the remote. Watching the weather channel and thinking I would have to get changed out of my bath robe soon so I could start to get Matilda packed up. I cannot describe the following explosion as there are no words horrifying enough to describe how I felt as the house rocked, or the panic or shear terror that went through my body as I heard the terrified, hysterical screaming from my daughter in the back yard. I threw my coffee cup down and ran for the back door, the scene that met me at the back door was every mothers worse nightmare. My son engulfed in flames running across the back yard screaming in the pure horror and pain of being on fire, and my daughter screaming hysterically to STOP, DROP and ROLL, over and over again. As I ran in the direction of my son I joined in the chorus of STOP, DROP, and ROLL RICKY…..over and over again….even as I was running towards him in complete shock and total disbelief, my 10 year old son was pulling off his own T-shirt that was completely engulfed in flames….the smell of burnt flesh mixed with gasoline stung my nose and the screaming from my son and daughter tore at my heart….a silent prayer came into my mind…as I grabbed the burnt T-shirt now discarded on the ground and started to put out the flames that remained on my sons jeans……"Please God don’t let him die"….My daughter still screaming hysterically, I heard the calm voice of my husband behind me….Come on son lets get in the shower….Everything from here is kind of blur but I will try to relay to you as much as I can remember. I ran inside, I was met by our neibor entering the front door, I pointed down the hall as I knew she was a RN and at this point the screams coming from the bathroom where getting louder and louder, God am I going to die Daddy??, is the small terrified voice I heard from the bathroom. I marveled at the quiet voice that answered my son, No darling you are not going to die. My whole body shaking with adrenaline and shock I reached for the phone, my fingers found the numbers I was looking for 911. I don’t know what I told the woman on the other end except that my 10 year old son had been burnt terribly in a gasoline explosion and my husband had him in the shower…..She asked Is he breathing and I said yes that is him screaming…..I told her there was a nurse with him and I had to get dressed before the ambulance arrived. I heard her voice say stay on the phone as I handed it to someone not sure who at this stage, I think it was one of the kids, as I ran up stairs to get dressed. The hysterical screams of both my children followed me up the stair and will haunt me for the rest of my life. Once dressed I ran out the front door followed by my screaming daughter, to flag down the ambulance . Neibor’s came from everywhere some of them I have never seen before and my friend Terri pulled up. Mary-beth was still screaming and I looked at her and said in a stern voice, Stop screaming Mary-beth, he is going to be ok!!!! Oh my God!!!!, is all I could say repeatingly Oh my God!!!!!!!! For what seemed like an eternity I waited for that ambulance but later I would find out it was only 4 minutes…..
My burnt son sat in the doorway wrapped in a wet sheet, crying quietly to his Daddy, It burns Daddy it burns please stop it !!!! He looked up at his Dad and calmly said, Dad I dreamt about this last night…..!!!! At this time 2 old ladies I had never seen before, strolled up in my front yard as if they where taking a leisurely stroll through the park and stood right in front of the door at the end of the path, looking and pointing through the glass storm door at my shivering burnt little boy. I guess this struck a nerve in me and I yelled at them to get the hell out of my yard as they where in the way of the ambulance attendants. At this time my adopted Dad pulled up in his truck, Mary-beth saw him and started to run screaming towards him, POPAW POPAW!!!!! Ricky got burnt!!!!!!, thank god that one of the neibors caught her before she ran out in traffic. The ambulance pulled up and my friend Linda got out of the drivers side, she looked at me and said OH Ronnie I am soooo sorry!!!! They pulled the stretch out and loaded Ricky, at this time he was calm and not crying….just saying Mom it burns please stop it burning…..Once at the hospital he was started on IV Morphine and the old ambulance company I used to work for was called to transfer him to UNC burn center in Chapel Hill…..2 hours from our home…..
My son received 1st 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 35% of his body, affecting his face, neck, chest, abdomen, both arms and his left thigh….as I write this we await his return to the burn unit on the 23rd to have skin grafts….the story continues…..
Ricky told us what happened 2 days later……. I wanted to help my Dad light the fire, so I got my sister and Jeremy my best friend to start to collect leaves. I knew we where going to have a great big party and cook some meat for everyone to eat. I saw that the fire from the night before was still hot so I picked up the gas can and threw just a very little bit of gas on the fire, it blew up in my face and I was on fire………
Just as simple as that…….this story has been very hard for me to write, I hope in writing this account of what happened it will help others not to make the same mistake…… Kanga aka Veronica 3/21/98
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Wind in his hair, the smell of wildflowers Walking through the tree’s listening to birds sing Sunny days at play, carefree laughing and joking with friends Looking around thinking as I sit here, how his life has changed Beeping of monitors quietly in the background, IV dripping slowly Soft comfortable snoring from my son all bandaged, drugged and sleeping I look at his face, different shades of pink caused by burns His chest covered with cream, I smile, he sleeps peacefully at last For weeks his small body tormented with pain, nightmares and terror Screams at me "I hate you Mom", "This hurts", "You don’t understand" Burns to 35% of his body, with both arms bandaged, he’s weeping My eyes fill with tears, my heart is breaking, my spirit withers while he screams Pain and terror of days past, he’s in surgery, I say a silent prayer God help my little boy, he’s terrified, he fears for his life as do I Three long hours I wait, Doctor smiles, skin grafts are done, he’s fine A smile on my face, I weep with joy, my soul gives thanks I enter his room, his angel face shines, morphine stops his pain, he sleeps peaceful at last He lays quiet and still his body grafted, covered with bandages stitched to him His arms elevated and bandaged, splints hold them out straight I sit beside him, drugs keep him without pain, I smile quietly for now I see……. True recovery has begun at last
As I get more pictures I will add them, most of his scars are covered by clothes and I will takes some pictures of those scars to show you all of you how different and wonderful he looks now....As for the scar on his face, he wants to keep it...He says he is going to be a burn doctor and he needs the scars to show the children that he does know how they feel and the pain they are suffering as he too was burnt and has suffered the same pain.....
FEEL FREE TO LEAVE MESSAGES IN OUR FORUM AND WE PROMISE TO GET BACK WITH YOU AS SOON AS WE POSSIBLY CAN....I KNOW HOW MUCH HAVING SOMEONE TO TALK TO ABOUT HOW I WAS FEELING WOULD HAVE HELPED ME COPE SO MUCH BETTER. AGAIN FEEL FREE TO LEAVE MESSAGES......
TEARS THAT FALL
A tear, like a stream trickles down sun warmed cheeks A tear caused by sad memories now replaced by joy and relief Wind in her hair, sounds of the surf catch her ears Children’s shrieks of joy match hungry cries of gulls on the beach On the sand she sits, watching as her family plays She looks and smiles as her son, so strong lifts his sister above the waves His arms still in bandages, a dark memory threatens to invade Yet another tear escapes as she turns that terrifying memory away How to describe the scale of emotions a mother feels When she watches a brother and sister play with such joy With a chill of terror, she knows not so long ago Where that are two now playing, there could have been one standing alone So look at your children in a different light When cries of "she touched me" ring out at night Tears again threatening, fill my eyes as I write One child could stand lonely, instead of two side by side So smile when in their childish way they fight As fate can be cruel with all its might The sound of children’s laughter fades and so easily disappears Then loneliness, one child left with all her fears Her man child snatched from a firery hell A child’s soul cheated death now happily plays Her two children happily together now play as one Her lips curl upward into a smile as she knows this battle is almost wonBrother and Sister
My little girl, covers thrown off, sleeps peacefully I smile to myself, she’s home safely at last She is the light of my life, oh so close to my heart She wakes, sleep rubbed from her eyes Hair golden brown matches her freckles, all over her face She pulls at her nightgown and smiles Her face alight with the joy of a new day She yawns, looks out the window and grins Happiness mirrors back at her reflection in the window She softly opens her big brothers door and smiles Softly ever so softly she says wake up sleepy head She watches with love as he rolls over and groans Then laughs as a pillow flies her way They wrestle her careful not to hurt his new skin Daily the same question is echoed with concern, Does it hurt? Together they grow, fight and play Watching over each other with a special bond The two share a great love and commitment That God willing will outlast any trail that may comeLittle Boy Sleeping
My little boy lay sleeping, covers thrown this way and that, I look at his body all scarred and pink My eyes fill with tears as my heart beats a little faster Oh dear God, why did this happen, watching my heart does sink Oh sweet child as you sleep my heart is breaking How vivid the memories remain Of that terrible morning oh so early When hell broke loose with you all aflame How vivid still is the smell of gasoline and burnt flesh The screams of pain and terror that filled the air Trying so hard to put out the fire to stop the pain Seconds that seemed like hours, a terror we all share Hours spent in ICU Chapel Hill How many times I ask myself why The days of not knowing if he would make it The weeks I spent just watching, while wanting to cry Now that the pain and terror is over He lay sleeping peacefully, the house so quiet I look down at my child and smile His body scarred he's sleeping , I smile…he is alive, what a wonderful sight