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In A Flash - Our Burn Injury Story

Updated on January 25, 2011

Burn Injuries change your life - In a Flash!

Poof!...in a flash, that's how long it takes for someones world to come to a crashing halt.

For us it happened at 6:58 pm on August 6th 2002.

For us it started with an argument over lasagna on a very hot day and a dead Robin that did a kamikaze on the garage window. The argument prompted my hubby to go back to that day's work site to get a few more hours of painting done.

The dead bird prompted me to stay home that night instead of going to bingo. I admit it, I'm a superstitious Irish girl. In my family when a bird flys into a window it is considered a bad omen of the death of someone in the family...it didn't help, that during the argument we had, my hubby Scott, waved the dead bird around singing "I'm gonna die!" in an effort to make me mad by making fun of my superstitious nature.

Scott before the Accident

Life before the burn

Scott and I were married on August 3rd 1995.

We had known and hated each other for years

before we actually realized we were perfect for each other.

Scott always had a wild streak, loved to party,

loved motorcycles, loved extended

conoe-camping trips on the St. Croix River.

The first couple of years were a nightmare.

It's really a miracle we stayed together.

Scott was a serious Alcoholic...

and he was far from being a pleasant life of the party drunk...

No, Scott was an angry, crazy and suicidal drunk.

It wasn't uncommon for me to pack up the kids

and the dog at 3 in the morning to go sleep

somewhere else just to get away from him

when he'd go on his drunk and crazy rampages.

True we did have a lot of fun during those years too.

Our house was party central and we threw

the best Halloween parties in town.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease,

and Scott got progressively more crazy,

more suicidal and more drunk.

By the end of his drinking career, we were going

through a 16 gallon keg of beer every couple days,

not to mention all the vodka...

and even though we did have a friend of ours living

with us at the time, her and I were both light

social drinkers, so it was really Scott

consuming most of the booze.

In the end, jail and not being allowed to

come home until he sobered up for good

was what got Scott to stop drinking.

After that, slowly our lives got better every day.

His painting business started taking off,

I was working at one of the local Emergancy

rooms as a Health Unit Co-ordinater

and we started to get back on track.

Scott got his drivers license back,

after not driving for 13 years because of old DUI's,

we got caught up on all of our bills.

Scott got healthier every day.

On the morning of August 6th, 2002,

Scott had been sober for about 4 years

and life was going pretty smoothly for us.


And Time Stopped

Because of our earlier argument I had cancelled my plans to go to bingo that night.

Because of the dead bird I sat home waiting for the phone to ring and hoping that it wouldn't...hoping that Scott would come home before it did.

Scott didn't come home and at 7:05 pm the phone did ring. It was Dan, the guy who owned the apartment building where Scott was painting a vacant apartment.

His first words after I said hello were "now don't freak out."

Flash Fire Explosion!

It only takes a moment for burn injuries to change everything

At first I thought, it wasn't going to be as bad as I expected. Dan told me there had been a fire at the apartment building and that Scott had been taken to United Hospital.

I worked at United Hospital and I knew that United was a Level 2 trauma hospital, we didn't have a burn unit and that if they took him to United, that he wasn't hurt very badly.

I called the back desk at United Emergancy room, I worked at that same desk every night. I knew the girl who answered the phone. I asked her if my husband had just come in by ambulance? She said that they hadn't had an ambulance in over an hour and weren't expecting one, and said, "Bambi, you know all fire related patients go to Regions!"

Yes, of course I knew that, but I was still desperately grasping to any shred of hope I could find.

I called Regions Hospital, I told the woman who answered my name and she told me to please hold before I could even ask a question. She already knew who I was before I called. She had been expecting my call....I hung up and drove to Regions Hospital in a daze.

A nurse, a police officer and a minister were waiting just inside the emergancy room doors for me.

Sounds like the start of a joke doesn't it?

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Scott's initial burn treatment took over 5 hours.

They took me up to the family waiting area of the Burn Center and said that someone would be out shortly to let me know what was going on.

I started making the phone calls. First my Mom, who said she was on her way. Then I tried to contact his parents, who were 3 hours away, but no one was home, so I called his sister Joy. He and Joy had been estranged for around 7 years, so I didn't expect her to come to the hospital, I just needed her help to find her parents, before I hung up she said she was on her way.

Fire Investigators and police and 3 different ministers came and went during the 5 hours we waited. By the time the Doctor finally came out to talk to us, we were quite a little group. My mom, Joy, Dan, my brother Robert and my oldest son Travis were there as well as the police minister.

Dr. Mohr came into the waiting room and basically just told us that Scott was in extremely critical condition. That he had sustained 3rd degree and deeper burns to 85% of his body and that he had about a 3% chance of surviving the night.

LIFE IS A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

-George Carlin

Wei-ji means Crisis

A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind - Chinese Proverb

Never Give Up Hope

Everyone reacts differently to a crisis. Some people crumble and fall apart, some people go into shock...and some people you never expected to, actually step up to the plate and hit a home run.

I grew up in a dirt-poor working class family. My mom was a Murphy and our family lived Murphy's Law every day. I grew up always expecting the worst and because of growing up in a family that was always living from crisis to crisis, I was probably better equipted to deal with Scott's accident than most people would be.

This was a double edged sword, because I didn't collapse and fall apart, no one else stepped up to take care of me. Instead I ended up comforting everyone else around me. That ended up being okay for me, because it kept me very busy.

Just about everyone expected Scott to die, true the odds were stacked against him.

From the moment the doctor said 3% chance of survival, I just knew that Scott would be in that 3%. I immediately asked the Doctor how long until his odds increased. At which point he started talking in that voice peole use to explaine complicated things to children, and told me that most likely Scott wouldn't survive the night.

Well, I'm the first to admit it that I can be a real first class bitch. I immediatley used my "I'm the Mom and I'm in charge not you voice" and explained to the doctor that I worked at United Emergancy room and was very familiar with medical procedure and terminolgy and that he could just cut the crap and tell me what happens next and how long until Scott's odds improve after he survives the night.

That got me a real answer, if Scott could survive the night, which the doctor again insisted was highly unlikely, then they would begin surguries to remove the burned skin from his body. Then if the surguries somehow didn't kill him and he somehow stayed alive for the next ten days, that then he would increase Scott's odds to 10%.

Then he excused himself to go finish working on keeping Scott alive. You have to give the burn doctors and nurses credit, they worked on Scott for 8 hours straight that night just to stabalize him. After 8 hours we were finally allowed back to see Scott.


While everyone else who knew Scott was falling apart, giving up hope and waiting for him to die. Me and the boys were fighting negative energy.

We had found a copy of the "Phoenix Society Burn News" in the waiting room. Inside we found a story about a man named Tony Gonzalez, who had been burned over 99% of his body, had been treated at Regions Burn Center, who had been given only a 1% chance to survive and had beat the odds and survived.

Tony Gonzales became our hope for Scott. The boys and I knew that if that guy could do it, then so could Scott. We started a positive energy campaign. No one was allowed to cry in Scott's room, people who went in were told to tell him positive things like "keep fighting" and "you can do it".

At one point during those first few days, the boys and I were talking to Scott and telling him how much we loved and needed him and how strong he was and how we knew he could beat this. The nurse who was watching him that day was stupid enough to comment that he didn't see why we were talking to him. That he was in an induced coma and couldn't hear us any way and then had the nerve to say I was giving my kids false hope. That he had been in the Burn center for 15 years and that in his opinion Scott wasn't going to make it.

Well that was it for him. I went right to the nursing supervisor and insisted that he be removed immediately. He was removed, and never allowed to be Scott's nurse again, all future nurses were instructed that only positive energy was allowed. See I told you I could be a bitch.

Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music

~ Anonymous

Beating the Odds

Miracles happen every day

Scott survived. It didn't happen over-night.

Scott was intubated and kept in an induced coma for 23 days.

He had 3 surguries in the first 4 days to remove all of the burned skin.

Basically they skin burn patients alive, because the burned skin is full of germs and can get infected and kill them.

Infection is the leading cause of death to burn patients. In the past people burned as badly as Scott always died. This was because burn surgeons could only remove as much damaged skin as they had new-growth skin to use to graft the area that was removed. Someone burned over 85% of their body would take months to cover with new skin, by then the infections caused by the dead burned skin killed them.

INTEGRA - Dermal Regeneration Template

Life saving technology for 3rd degree burns

Integra saved Scott's life.

Integra is a skin replacement system for the treatment of deep partial-thickness or full-thickness burn injury to the skin.

Integra enables doctors to remove all of the burned skin and cover the body with artificial skin quickly, which reduces the risk of infection and gives the patient time to grow new skin.

Integra has 2 layers, the layer that gets placed on the open tissue, actually binds with it and creates a surface optimal to place grafted skin. The outer silicone layer acts as an artificial skin that keeps fluids in while protecting the covered tissue from infection.

Amputation is common with burn injuries

Scott lost all of his fingers and both thumbs

During Scott's recovery, one of the hardest things I had to do was sign the permission papers for the doctors to amputate Scott's fingers.

One of the burn doctors explained it like this; imagine if you grilled a hotdog next to a whole chicken and you kept that hotdog on the grill until the chicken was done. Well, that was what happened to Scott's fingers.

I knew they couldn't be saved, by the time they amputated, they were black shriveled up mummy fingers. Still, just the thought of living without fingers is indescribable.

Life at the Burn Center

We were at the hospital more than at home

Scott's recovery was a long, slow process. He had 14 surgeries, endured daily torture sessions in the burn tub, and fought countless life threatening infections.

We practically lived at the burn center for 4 and 1/2 months. My day consited of working an 8 hour over-night shift at United Emergancy room, then going to Regions Burn Center to feed Scott breakfast, then home to sleep a few hours, then going back to Regions in time to feed Scott dinner and keep him company until it was time to go back to work.

I went 8 months straight were I didn't once get more than 5 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Many nights at work my nurses would cover my station so I could get an hour of sleep in an empty patient room during slow nights.

Inside the apartment where Scott was painting

Inside the apartment where Scott was painting
Inside the apartment where Scott was painting

The Explosion

How Scott got his burn injuries

It took us months to put together what had actually happened in that vacant apartment on August 6th.

The Fire Investigator determined that it was a flash fire that reached temperatures of 1,000 degrees fahrenheit in a matter of seconds.

A flash fire is an unexpected, sudden intense fire caused by ignition of flammable solids (including dust), liquids, or gases. It is characterized by high-temperature, short-duration, considerable shock waves, and a rapidly moving flame front.

Flash fires may occur in environments where fuel, typically flammable gas or dust, is mixed with air in concentrations suitable for combustion.

"A rapidly moving flame front which can be a combustion explosion. Flash fire may occur in an environment where fuel and air become mixed in adequate concentrations to combust...flash fire has a heat flux of approximately 84 kW/m2 for relatively short periods of time, typically less than 3 seconds."

Unlike most people who wake up in the hospital and have no memory of the accident that put them there, Scott remembered every detail. Here in his own words, in a letter he wrote, is that story.

The Day I was Burned - By: Scott Watson

August 6th 2002

It was three days past our 7th wedding anniversary and 4 days before our youngest son's 13th birthday. I went to work just like any other day. I knew I had a shitty job ahead of me. That day I was going to spray 15 gallons of Kilz primer, which is basically just lighter fluid disguised as paint. I needed to get the stink out of a one- bedroom apartment that had been occupied for over 30 years by a chain-smoker. Kilz was the only thing strong enough to cover 30 years of yellow smoke stains on the walls, ceiling & cabinets.

I sprayed for awhile then took a break for a couple of hours, ran some errands & had pizza for lunch at a local joint. Then I went back and sprayed until I was almost done with the Kilz. I thought hmm, I'll finish the kitchen cabinets the next morning & then start rolling on the colored paint over the primer. Kilz is nasty stuff, the fumes alone can knock you out if you don't wear a mask or respirator. And even with the respirator on, when you spray Kilz it manages to soak into your skin & make you feel kind of crazy.

I went home to eat dinner. It was a hot humid nasty day and Bambi had made lasagna. The oven on in the house on such a hot day made it like walking into a sauna. Between the heat, the Kilz fumes & the lasagna, I blew up. Started a fight over the lasagna, because I'd had pizza for lunch & didn't want lasagna.

Earlier that day a Robin had flown into my shop window

and left its brains on the window.

It's body landed on a little table under the window. Bambi's family has a superstition that if a bird hits a window on your house or car & dies that it means that somebody is going to die. Bad omen kind of thing. I've seen her hit that one right on the nuts before so I knew there was something more to the bird thing than just superstition.

Well being mad at her about the lasagna anyway, I picked up that dead bird by the tail & started laughing and singing "some-ones gonna die...some-ones gonna die" I said I was going back to work, threw the bird down, said fuck you & went to meet my fate.

I went back to the apartment; it was dark & dreary inside. I had plastic covering all but one window & a fan blowing the fumes out of the open window. The air inside was thick and stunk like hell. I set up my tools in the living room and then went outside to have a smoke before spraying. I was wearing flimsy cotton pants & a T-shirt that were already soaked with Kilz over-spray. I put on my respirator & hat and went back in.

I picked up the sprayer handle

but don't remember if I sprayed or not.

I think it was just a few seconds after that, that the apartment exploded. It was like nothing I've ever seen before and hope to never see again. There was suddenly this huge ball of fire that appeared out of nowhere. It seemed like big walls of fire came from behind me, and down from the ceiling and up from the floor and all around. In a split second I saw the empty space in front of me with no fire, become engulfed with fire.

I felt the temperature become increasingly warm. At first like being in a boiler room, then hotter than anything you could ever imagine. I don't think even hell could be as hot as that apartment was. It was really fucking scary! I found out later that all of the windows were blown out, the refrigerator was practically disintegrated & my glasses were gone. But that was the least of my problems, because I was on fire.

My whole body was literally burning

Not just my shirtsleeve or something

Remember that I was wearing baggy clothes that were already saturated with Kilz. I was kind of like a wick in a Molotov cocktail. I ran down the hallway & pushed open the apartment door. That's where I fell & rolled up against the neighbor's door.

For a split second I thought this is it Scott and that I was going to lay there and die.

Somehow I managed to get up and run outside. I kind of remember screaming " help, help me, I'm on fire" I was running down the sidewalk, I have no idea where I was going except that I wanted to go home and see Bambi one last time. I didn't make it that far. I made it across the street and collapsed. I was still burning alive. As I was running I had noticed this liquid running off my fingers, like water runs off your body when taking a shower. My first thought was where is all this water coming from? I got a deep sickening feeling in my gut when I realized it was my skin melting off & pouring down my fingertips.

That's when I knew this was serious

I was unaware that it was National night out and that people enjoying a block party had witnessed my run out the building and into the street. But to this day I thank the powers that be for Jim who happened to be out watering his shrubs as I ran screaming across the street. He tried to run over to where I had collapsed but his hose was 20 feet too short.

Jim yelled for me to get up and come to him so he could hose me off. Somehow I managed to get over to him & he started putting out the fire that I had become. I was in & out of consciousness. I remember feeling like I was freezing, I'd never felt so cold, it hurt worse than the fire. So I told Jim to stop & he did. Then as soon as the water would stop I'd feel the incredible heat of the burn and ask him to run the water again. That happened like 3 times before the ambulance arrived. Later I found out that if he hadn't stopped watering me when I asked that I could have died of hypothermia.

I remember asking, "where's the ambulance?"

It felt like forever

I found out later that the ambulance was on the scene within 5 minutes of the explosion, but at the time it seemed so much longer. After Jim had doused the fire I had gotten to my feet and was talking to people. Explaining that I was painting the apartment, wanting to apologize for starting a fire. I was complaining about the pain, which wasn't quite as bad as when I'd been on fire.

As it turns out, along with my skin melting off my nerve endings had also burned off. In a bad sort of way, that was a good thing because without nerve endings you don't feel the pain. My shirt had completely burned off and most of my pants were burned off. I later heard from eyewitnesses that it looked like I had a severe sunburn, that my skin was cracked & sliding off my arms, chest & back. I had a Skull tattoo on my upper right arm. When Jim visited me in the hospital a couple of months later he asked me why I had two of the exact same tattoos on the same arm, that's when I realized the tattoo had melted & slid down past my elbow.

Finally the ambulance arrived, Medic 10, it came down Ashland Avenue, but had to back up & go back around the block because fire trucks were in the way. The paramedics came up to me from behind, I remember the way they stepped back in horror as I turned around to face them. I walked with them to the gurney & climbed on myself. Oh man did that gurney feel comfy, so warm & cozy. I finally felt safe & at ease. Help had finally arrived. I was sure I was going to die, but at least it was going to be in a nice soft place.

They slid me into the ambulance. I remember seeing the 2 paramedics standing outside the ambulance. They looked like shadows. I couldn't see their faces or make out colors anymore just shadows. The doors seemed to shut in slow motion & echoed in my head as they clanged shut. Then everything went black.

Laughter really is the best medicine

"You can turn painful situations around through laughter...If you can find humor in something...you can survive it." -Bill Cosby

The long Road to Recovery

Scott was in the burn unit for 4 and 1/2 months

Scott's recovery was a long slow process, full of infection scares, uncontrollable bleeding, 14 surgeries and endless hours of therapy.

Once Scott was out of the induced coma, the serious work of getting well again began. His days in the burn center consisted of long hours of therapy and 3 hour long burn bathes every day.

Scott said that next to being actually on fire, the burn baths were the most painful part of burn injury recovery.

Scott had bandages covering most of his body, so half of the burn bath process consisted of removing all of the bandages and then after each bath, putting new ones on again.

During the bath itself the nurses scrub the entire body (not gently) to remove dead tissue, scabs & anything foreign that is stuck. They also would remove dozens of staples from grafting procedures during the baths.

Scott also had to relearn how to do everything in new ways because of the loss of his fingers.

Scott was bed-ridden for over a month from his burn injuries.

Scott was bed-ridden for over a month from his burn injuries.
Scott was bed-ridden for over a month from his burn injuries.

Scott had to re-learn how to be upright before he could re-learn how to walk.

Scott had to re-learn how to be upright before he could re-learn how to walk.
Scott had to re-learn how to be upright before he could re-learn how to walk.

Standing up for the first time after his burn injuries.

Standing up for the first time after his burn injuries.
Standing up for the first time after his burn injuries.

Baby Steps

Baby Steps
Baby Steps

Drop-foot

Drop-foot
Drop-foot

The daily burn bath

The daily burn bath
The daily burn bath

They made a special cuff to fit around Scott's hand to hold a spoon or toothbrush

They made a special cuff to fit around Scott's hand to hold a spoon or toothbrush
They made a special cuff to fit around Scott's hand to hold a spoon or toothbrush

Scott re-learns the things we all take for granted

Scott re-learns the things we all take for granted
Scott re-learns the things we all take for granted

Visitors help stave off boredom and homesickness for burn injury patients

Visitors help stave off boredom and homesickness for burn injury patients
Visitors help stave off boredom and homesickness for burn injury patients

The therapists devise all kinds of torture to help Scott recover

The therapists devise all kinds of torture to help Scott recover
The therapists devise all kinds of torture to help Scott recover

Scott hated the masks and pressure garments designed to reduce scarring after burn injuries.

Scott hated the masks and pressure garments designed to reduce scarring after burn injuries.
Scott hated the masks and pressure garments designed to reduce scarring after burn injuries.

A new torture every day

A new torture every day
A new torture every day

Scott was a very motivated to get home patient

Scott was a very motivated to get home patient
Scott was a very motivated to get home patient

No privacy allowed in the burn unit

No privacy allowed in the burn unit
No privacy allowed in the burn unit

The first thing Scott wrote was a love note to me

The first thing Scott wrote was a love note to me
The first thing Scott wrote was a love note to me

Trying to fix the drop-foot

Trying to fix the drop-foot
Trying to fix the drop-foot

Every day Scott better and stronger as his burn injuries healed

Every day Scott better and stronger as his burn injuries healed
Every day Scott better and stronger as his burn injuries healed

Without humor everything would drive you crazy

Without humor everything would drive you crazy
Without humor everything would drive you crazy

As Scott got better he was able to leave his room

As Scott got better he was able to leave his room
As Scott got better he was able to leave his room

On thanksgiving Scott was allowed to leave the hospital for a few hours

On thanksgiving Scott was allowed to leave the hospital for a few hours
On thanksgiving Scott was allowed to leave the hospital for a few hours

Burn Injuries Re-unites Brother & Sister

After a 7 year estrangment

During Scott's drinking years he burned a lot of bridges, and at the time of his accident he had barely spoken to his sister Joy for around 7 years.

Joy was one of those rare people who really step up to the plate when tragedy stikes. She waited with me in the hospital waiting room all those endless hours until the doctor came out.

Then she visited Scott almost every day he was in the hospital, always giving him positive encouragement to get better.

It really meant a lot to both of us that she was there for us during Scott's recovery.

Since Scott's accident, their relationship has grown stronger and now they're actually happy to see each other at family functions and holidays.

Christmas miracles

Scott comes home on December 23rd

Scott was in the burn unit for over 3 months before the doctors would upgrade him past a 10% chance for survival, because until a burn patient is completely grafted, an infection can kill them quickly.

Scott was upgraded to 50% chance of survival right before thanksgiving. On December 12th, they upgraded him to 98%...the doctor jokingly said he wasn't giving Scott better odds than he had himself.

On December 14th Scott was moved up to rehab on the 9th floor. Rehab wasn't a good fit for Scott and after 9 days of fighting hospital administration, I was able to bring Scott home.

Right before Scott was released we all got to meet Tony Gonzales, at a burn center christmas party, and tell him personally how his story gave us hope during our darkest hours.

Home at last

Recovery from burn injuries is a long slow process

Bringing Scott home was a challenge. He still required pretty much constant care. Before I could even bring him home I had to prove to the hospital that I could take care of all of his needs, including the nightly 3 hour burn bath.

Having a medical background really helped, sheer determination took care of the rest. Bringing Scott home was twice as much work as just helping him at the hospital, there I had nurses and other hospital personnel to help. At home it was just me and the boys.

I don't know what I would have done without my middle son Dustin, from day one, he was my rock to lean on. He took on all kinds of extra responsibilities at home and helped me in every way he could and then some. I guess this experience is part of the reason we have such a great relationship now.

After bringing Scott home, my days consisted of leaving work at 7:00am and rushing home to feed and dress Scott before taking him to the hospital by 9:00 am for therapy. Then going back home to sleep until 2:30 pm when I had to pick Scott up from therapy at 3:00pm.

Then bring him back home and make and feed him dinner before starting his nightly burn bath at 7:00 pm. By 10:00 pm his bath finally done, I would start getting ready to go back to work at 11:00pm.

We lived that schedule until July, when his therapy was finally cut back from daily to weekly. By August, one year after his accident, he was finally completely done with tharapy too.

A Brand New Life

You never really go back to how it was before the burn injuries.

The next year of our lives was a time of Scott learning to be more and more independent every day.

Being his caregiver for over a year had altered our relationship to the point where I was like an over-protective mom. He needed to learn how to do things for himself and I needed to learn how to let go and let him do it himself.

Through everything Scott always had a fantastically warped sense of humor. One day while I was upstairs, he managed to use his walker to get himself out to the garage where his shop is. When I finally went out there to see what he was doing, I found him pushing a piece of wood through the band saw.

When I asked what he thought he was doing, he shot back "well, It's not like I'm gonna accidentally cut off my fingers." After that I just let him do whatever he needed to do to get himself better.

Every day our lives became a new kind of normal

Every day our lives became a new kind of normal
Every day our lives became a new kind of normal

In 2004 we attended our first World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries

In 2004 we attended our first World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries
In 2004 we attended our first World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries

Scott proved to himself that he could still do woodworking without fingers

Scott proved to himself that he could still do woodworking without fingers
Scott proved to himself that he could still do woodworking without fingers

In 2005 we attended our 2nd World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries

In 2005 we attended our 2nd World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries
In 2005 we attended our 2nd World Burn Conference for survivors of burn injuries

Giving Back

The Survivors Offering Assistance and Support (SOAR) Program

Scott is now a volunteer with the SOAR program and goes back to Regions Burn Center to talk to and help other people dealing with burn injury and amputation.

Our lives are pretty mundane now. Scott can pretty much do everything he could do before his accident. He can tie his own shoes, wipe his own butt and has even resumed his summer canoe and camping trips.

Losing his fingers was definitely the biggest challenge his accident presented. He still complaines when it takes him longer to do things that the rest of us just take for granted.

He doesn't have sweat glands any more, so he over-heats easily, but other than that life is pretty darned good!

Resources - helpful links

The Phoenix Society and the American Burn Association are excellent resources for burn survivors and their families.

Caring bridge is an amazing site for anyone who has a loved one that is hospitalized. There wasn't anything like caring bridge out there when Scott was in the burn center...so I had to keep everyone updated by phone, e-mail and weekly newsletters I had to mail out.

Since Scott's accident I've used caringbridge for my brother when he had a heart attack and 2 different cousins who were in auto accidents. Caring bridge is a wonderful way to keep everyone informed about your loved ones medical condition.

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Thank you so much for visiting, and for links to more Burn Injury related sites and caring bridge, please scroll down, lol!

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    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      God certainly is good!

    • profile image

      Taylor 21 months ago

      About a month ago I was burned 3rd degree on 25% of my body. You sharing this story helps more than you know.

    • profile image

      Jasmin Arethna 2 years ago

      Oufff !! Amazing family ! Amazing strength!

      An Amazing and Inspiring story of tragedy, recovery , love and health !

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This story touched my life. I am in nursing school and doing a project on burns and we had to find a personal story to discuss with the class. This story was the most warming. Your family is something very special. I had an aunt who was in the hospital for 4 months because she developed the flesh eating disease and its really a commitment to be there every day and support your loved ones when your so tired. God bless your family and I hope your all still going strong.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story, it really stopped me in my tracks and think about how precious life and all the things we take for granted are.

      Best of luck and wishes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this story.

      My journey is just beginning, and I hope I too can experience healing and acceptance.

      Best wishes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this story. God has blessed your family. A week ago my brother received 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 85 percent of his body was burned and the docters gave him a 10 percent chance of making it. Right now its hard seeing my brother in this condition but we know he's going to make it with Gods help. This story is very inspiring and gives me hope we will pull through this. Thanks again for your courage of sharing your story. God bless

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I went online because my friend's son wants a tattoo on his arm that was burned severely in a grease fire. It has been 4 years but my friend is very concerned. I ended up reading this site from start to finish. You are both amazing - I have no words to describe your courage.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This was a great piece! Thank you for sharing! I fortunately wasn't injured as badly in an explosion due to aerosol accidentally being tost into a stack of cardboard boxes ring burned!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for your very inspirational story, a relative suffered 65% burns 3 months ago and is making good I will show them your story. I wish you well.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      We found out today, at church, a friend was in a flash fire. He has 85% 3rd degree burns. Looking for hope of survival and ran across your very real story. Thank you for your story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I came across this article and it made me year up. My uncle two days ago was in a accident where he was burned 85% 3rd degree burns . He is just staring is recovery. They only give him a 15% chance at this time. He has wonderful family support . The Drs said it will be a long road to recovery but your story gives me hope thank you

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome story xxx burns are horrific I was burned 15 years ago and still have surgeries x I've just this week had another integra surgery xxxxx

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This brings back a lot of memories. I was burned 60% or so, in 1970. I honestly intended to write a book about the experience, but never did. I salute you both for the wonderful gift of sharing your story.

      You also demonstrate something I've been saying lately: If your sense of humor is the last thing to go, then you've done alright!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nanna

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I really liked the fact that you all pulled together and stuck together.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      you are all such strong people. amazing. awe inspiring and brave

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      you are all amazing people and truly inspirational!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      You two sure had a tremendous amount of difficulty to deal with. Burns are so very painful that I cannot imagine what Scott endured.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank you for sharing your story i used your story to help my son after we caught him playing with matches this helped him see fire is no toy!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Inspiring ,thank you for sharing your story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow, found this page randomly but a pretty incredible & impressive story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      hi i just read ur story so inspirational my best mate just became a burns victim his n electrician n 2 days ago a switchboard blew up in front of him his clothes caught fire he has 80% burns to his entire body except his face but reading this i no there is hope his in n induced coma n really feel how u woulda felt it feels surreal n im still in disbelief the other thing that sucks is his wife is pregnant n she is due in 3 weeks tough times ahead but reading this story i no there is a ful recovery

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 5 years ago

      Bloodcurdling story! I started to cry reading it! I can't even imagine what you both had to indurate. Congratulations for your strength!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this amazing story from tragedy to triumph. I am a 4th year mature nursing student that decided to get into healthcare after I had been treated badly by an emergency nurse after being burned in a bonfire explosion. Although my burns were only second degree, it was painful and quite the recovery process. Like you I had to rely on my family to help me through the healing process at home. I believe that you are truly blessed by an amazing family that has the best attitude one can have to recover and exceed anyone's expectations. I am currently working on a research assignment on burns and am looking for gaps in the literature in order that I might find a great idea for a research study.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My name is Nesha...my son got burn while we were burning a small heap"....where we heard an explosion and my son got burn....we called the ambulance but there was none..so my husband and I took him to the hospital...they treated him and said he got 38 percent surface burn..he was sent to the icu where he was treated for 14 days....on the 15 day the doctor called and said he died with cardiac arrest...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for posting your detailed account of what you went through, i'm so glad that you have made such an amazing recovery, you're a true inspiration and very courageous!! I wish you and your family all the best :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for your detailed story. I am reading "The Burn Journals" by Brent Runyon and it doesn't go into the details that you do and how low the survival rate was. This gave me a much better visual of what a burn victim experiences. Incredible story!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and journey through that difficult time. I am a nursing student, and my instructor added the link for your story on our notes for us to check out, and I am very glad I took the time to read through this. Your story was very motivating and uplifting. I wish your family the best. :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story! Great job advocating Bambi!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Love of family makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing this incredible story. I teach burn care to nurses and have shared your story with them. I hope you and your family are well.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, my second cousin Stephen Baca was burned August 8th from a gas line explosion in New Mexico. he is doing amazingly well. He was burned 50% of his body with third degree burns on his upper body. On day 16 he was taken off the venalator, trac removed, today he walked 100 feet to the scrub room? Your story gives me hope that he can be restored to health.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with angel dust after being reminded of your story.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Prayers for Scott and your family. An incredible story of determination and faith. Thank you for sharing with the world. I'm sure the posting of your story is helping others. Bless you all.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi you guys,

      My name is Bill Bristol. I started reading your story and I wish there was a stronger word than incredible. You went thru a lot of pain Scott and lived to tell about it. On the surface they (meaning industry) probably say "you can never work Again!" Well you are working and doing better than before. To make that cute birdhouse without fingers is really neat.

      I do not have a job right now. I look every now and then, but so far nothing has broken loose in the economy. I never really tell people that I was laid off. I just tell them that I am not working because of economic design. That sounds more exotic than "I was laid off."

      My son is autistic, but he is functional which I am grateful for. (I just used a preposition to end a sentence with. Legend has it that Winston Churchill spoke against doing that.)

      In the case of my son, (my wife died a couple of years ago) I am a single parent with an autistic son. It was difficult with him and it was frustrating for him as well. He was able to get a job thru the California Rehab. Dept., because he is learning disabled. You are given a job consulor and a job coach. Then they find you a job. For them it is easy. The job is for 3 months and the company pays 1/2 pay and the state matches it. So it costs the company near nothing to put the person payroll. And they probably get Brownie Points for doing. If you know someone and if the program is available where you guys live than let them know. My son has been on the job near 3 years, so I guess they are going to keep him.

      On another note, he was in Special Education all thru school. The first grade teacher called us in (this was before my wife got sick) and told us that our som would not ever be taught how to read. We were stunshocked. Because both my wife and I loved to read. The teacher told us that his brain does not work right.

      My wife and I talked it over and decided that we were not going to accept that. So every night we would read something to him. A small article in the "Orange County Register," The words under pictures of "National Geographic," a comic, a kids book whatever. One day my mom asked us, "Do you know when the miracle happened?" We shook our heads. we did not know. All of a sudden Joel could read.

      My wife worked in an office so she had to wear better clothes. I worked for a silk screen printer. I wore rags. Joel's clothes were in between. One day he and I were at a thrift store. I was looking for Levis. He came over and asked if we could get this book. He was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I said "Maybe." He showed to me. It was a college geology book. I said "I don't know. Can you read that?"

      He said "Sure." and proceeded to do so. He did not know what all those big words meant. I did not know what they meant. But he could read them.

      When he started 8th grade, we went in for open house. He had one main teacher and two others. Math and P.E. I took a special book with us. After a few minutes with his main teacher, I said, "Joel. Read a couple of paragraphs to your teacher. So he did. His teacher was stunned. His wife was there also. She was more than stunned. "Does he know what he is reading?" she asked.

      "O yeah. He can tell you what is means. Because he wasn't reading English. He was reading Spanish. Joel's teacher's wife is Hispanic. I heard his teacher mutter kinda under his breath, "I have children who can't read "The Cat in the Hat" in either language."

      So when someone says, "It cannot be done." As you both know, yes it can.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      http://neverdoubtpossibilities.blogspot.com/2012/0...

      That is my blog site for my story. I was ran over two days after I turned 16 and trapped under the motor of a running car.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Scott & Bambi, you are the most amazing couple :) The endless support, comittment and determination you have both given to each other and yourselves is also amazing. I sincerely send my positive energy your way, to help ensure that things stay good :) I might also send you some bird of prey statues to keep all the camacazi birds away ;)

      Thanks again, Nat.

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      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Praying for your husband. Great story!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well, I shall be at the next burn congress. This summer. I am 17 years old and was burned 30% of my body in a flash fire, also. My face, chest, arms, and hands are grapheded . I was on life support for a month and a half, because inhaliation burns. The doctors thought I would not make it, but I pulled through.

      My accident was December 28th, 2011. I was admitted into johns Hopkins Bayview .

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Bless you both - you are both inspirational! Stay strong!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Be strong and keep the faith is my best advice!

      http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidbeal

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This gives me so much hope! So thank you for sharing :) , My brother was burned on Saturday and has burns to 85% of his body as well, they said he has a 15% chance but he is still going strong and has his sense of humour! I think he will make it and pray he will ! But yeah thanks so much for sharing this! I empathise with what you have gone through and are still facing today! Amazing story guys .. inspiring :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      you are very strong to go through this together

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      you are very strong to go through this together

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      Excellent lens - Angel blessed. I am proud that you were able to stay together - real loyalty.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      God has a great great big hart that not can image how big it is, cause He is there threw the worst and good, keep up the great job in recovery , never give up.. i got a brotherinlaw that has a burning story also.

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 6 years ago

      Holy Moses ...what an experience. This lens has been blessed.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      scot you are one brave man i live in in england some burns peaple i have met feel that i must not moan about silley things after your storey i will think a gaine before i moan ok scot good luck to you and all your famaley michael

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      Julia M S Pearce 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      An amazing story of human courage and love. A powerful force.

      *angel blessed*

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I read this as assigned reading for the burn lecture in my adults with physical challenges class. The story resonated with me because I am from St. Paul and used to work with staff from United and Regions, and I know how hard it can be to find a glimmer of hope or positive energy from professionals. This story reinforces how much hope plays a role in recovery and support of families of patients in trying times. Hope for recovery is something I am resolved to always emanate to every patient and their families when I become a practicing occupational therapist. Thank you for sharing your story.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I found this by accident. Got to say it is the most insperational read ever! what a brilliant guy and they way your family have overcome this is truly brilliant!! hats off to you all and well done for being able to right this article :) very best wishes for the future :)

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      What an incredible story of strength, love, and an amazing family! Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo", my tribute to the best lenses I've found since donning my wings.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      oh my gosh - we would really like to speak to you guys. My husband is going the same thing, happened the same way , burned over 80% of his body , been in the hospital since 08/31/11 still a long road ahead but super glad to hear your story _ GOD is good

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      this is an encouraging rea. my little cousin of 12 years, got burnt 85% of his body in a petrol fire. its been 5days now since the incident, and today he is going into surgery.

      this story has given me hope for his survival

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      very moving and encouraging story to read, my cousins husband has just been burnt over 85 percent of his body in an industrial plant fire /explosion and is in a pittsburgh hospital. so the story is very encouraging knowing that there is hope after reading your story, thank for sharing such an uplighting and personal part of your life to give others hope.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      very moving and encouraging story to read, my cousins husband has just been burnt over 85 percent of his body in an industrial plant fire /explosion and is in a pittsburgh hospital. so the story is very encouraging knowing that there is hope after reading your story, thank for sharing such an uplighting and personal part of your life to give others hope.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Reading stories like this motivate people to be the best they can possibly be. It minimizes the daily problems people tend to focus on, money, job stress, etc. When you read about true hardship like someone over-coming such a serious injury, and the dedication of the family to facilitate the healing process, none of the little crap matters. I am so proud of all of you for fighting through the tragedy and coming out stronger on the other side. Your story is truly inspirational. I am in awe of you. P.S. Shame on that nurse for discouraging your hope! And more power to you for removing the negative energy!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing all of this. My friend, co-worker, and neighbor (Scott) became a burn victim a few days ago from an explosion at work. I'm struggling to come to terms with what happened, as he is also suffering from burns over 85% of his body. Reading this is giving me that glimmer of hope that I need. Thank you once again. You have no idea how much this has helped me.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you for sharing your story, you are truly inspirational. im a burn survivor too and so many things in that story happened for me too and its always always encouraging to see someone else surviving and going on to lead a happy life.ur all amazing! i wish you all the best. nick. sydney, australia

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 years ago

      Bambi, you know I love you to bits and now I love you even more. I had no idea this had happened to you and what an inspiration you and your husband are. Beautiful determination to overcome something so horrific. I read every word. If I could bless this lens ten times over I would!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Wow. What an inspiring story of survival. I am so glad he survived and can do many things probably nobody thought he would ever do.

      I have had some (small) burn injuries - nothing like he had - so I cannot even imagine the courage he had to get through this accident. More power to him and to you too. Thank you for sharing this story of courage.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Extremely MOTIVATIONAL, sometimes we just complain about every little thing that happens to us and take ordinary life and little things of it for granted. I'm ashamed of myself for whining for not having this, or that or how bad live treats me. Thanx for opening my eyes and live every day like what it is, a TREASURE :)

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      ThomasNKlotz 6 years ago

      Burn off harm can happen to any individual and if the injuries is severe, the impacted person goes through an emotional trauma and huge expenditures which could finish in deadly implications.

      Personal Injury Chicago

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm burned , 3rd degree ever since I was 3 . I cried during reading some of these stories . These people are so strong . . . I wish to actually meet a fellow survivor .

      "We're no different than anybody else. We're just people with scars. You just have to look through them and see the person."

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm burned , 3rd degree ever since I was 3 . I cried during reading some of these stories . These people are so strong . . . I wish to actually meet a fellow survivor .

      "We're no different than anybody else. We're just people with scars. You just have to look through them and see the person."

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      wow.. Normally i stop reading stories after the first pages, i read this one from top to bottom.

      An truly amazing story! It's stories like these that makes you realize that with determination you can survive the worst situations. A truly inspiring story, in case i would ever meet with such a situation i too will refer to this story.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      wow.. Normally i stop reading stories after the first pages, i read this one from top to bottom.

      An truly amazing story! It's stories like these that makes you realize that with determination you can survive the worst situations. A truly inspiring story, in case i would ever meet with such a situation i too will refer to this story.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a very inspiring story that's for sure so you to never give up hope on anything even when other do. Scott god bless you man I hope you can still enjoy your life with your disabilities. You are a living miracle. You are doing good by healping other burn victims by showing them they can be a living miracle to. I wish all the best for you and your family again GOD BLESS you and your family.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow, That was an amazing story of hope and true strength. I can see why Scott has done so well, he has a peaceful and uplifting family by his side! Love and Laughter is a powerful medicine :)

      Thanks for the inspiring story. Peace. Victoria Mpls, MN

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      wheelbound 6 years ago

      What an amazing story of recovery. I am so glad to see that he is giving back by giving other burn victims strength. Great lens. Have a beautiful day. You are a good man Scott!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a very inspiring story. Its amazing how you faced such tough and painful circumstances with courage and with smiles on your face. Thanks for sharing this. It will be an inspiration for everyone who reads this lens.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a very inspiring story. Its amazing how you faced such tough and painful circumstances with courage and with smiles on your face. Thanks for sharing this. It will be an inspiration for everyone who reads this lens.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Rhode Island

      Thank you for sharing such hope courage and strength I just do not know what else to say it would be so much yet not enough I hope many will read this and take away some wonderful inspiration strength and hope thank you again

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      sultana27 7 years ago

      You are so brave i can understand how it feels i was in a housefire in 2007 and i suffer from 45% third degree burns and i know how hard and painful recovey is.Reading your story makes me feel am not alone. Take care of your self.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is more of what our world needs.. motivation to make life the best you can make it. Truly inspiring and such a compelling story. We are blessed with people like Scott & Bambi to share their story of love, hope and courage........

    • fashionality lm profile image

      fashionality lm 7 years ago

      Incredible, compelling story.

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      moonlitta 7 years ago

      Been a while! Here's a valentine kiss for one of my favorite lenses on Squidoo...

    • AbsoluteJeanius1 profile image

      AbsoluteJeanius1 7 years ago

      Just when you think you've heard a story of the most amazing courage possible, here comes one that makes you say, NOW I have heard about the most amazing courage possible. Thank you so much.

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      miaponzo 7 years ago

      Oh my God. thank you for all your strength.. and bless...

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you so much Bambi. Thank you for sharing such an amazing journey and for expressing it in a way that so many people can be "touched" by it. And thank you Scott, for traveling on that journey and for ultimately landing your desired destination. You are an inspiration. I am very happy I continued reading to learn about your experience! I wish you and your family happiness and health for many years to come. I found this article by searching for information about Integra, it is an amazing creation. =)

    • QuirkySue profile image

      QuirkySue 7 years ago

      This was the most amazing and inspiring story I think I've ever read.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 7 years ago

      Wow. What a story! I'm so glad that he made it through and is doing so well. He must be a really special person to have made it through that. Your love and support must have helped him tremendously too. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      I truly admire both of you for having the strength to survive through such tragedy and to stay together. So many people allow tragedy to also break up their marriage. I'm always happy to hear about people who overcome the odds and help each other heal.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Really amazing story. Kinda difficult for me to read. My husband also got severely burned though nothing like Scott. Mike was burned up one arm and to a lesser degree half of his face. That was a long road to recovery. I can't even imagine how it must have been for you two.

    • JeffMcRitchie1 profile image

      JeffMcRitchie1 7 years ago

      What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing with us.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, what a story! Very inspirational.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 7 years ago from Liverpool, England

      At the start I had to force myself to keep reading but to stop would have been cowardly and disrespectful. Astonishing and inspiring.

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      nangaye-steve 7 years ago

      This is an amazing lens Bambi and a story to inspire all of us. Thank you for sharing it.

    • asiliveandbreathe profile image

      asiliveandbreathe 7 years ago

      A truly remarkable story of a remarkable, loving family.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      My son was 45% burned in a fire and we spent two and a half months at Harborview Medical Center. Positive Attitude has EVERYthing to do with healing and I'm very impressed with your family's ability to 'hold it together'. If you ever find yourself in Bristol Bay, Alaska - please look us up. My son is 14 years old now and we haven't met another survivor but I know he's reaching the age he needs to see and hear for himself that life does go on. Thank you for sharing your story. Cathy Reamey & Dylan Wassily

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Both you and Scott's unfailing courage and determination in the face of a terrible situation is a great reminder to us all. Take nothing for granted and keep things in perspective. Most people are far more blessed than they realise.

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      Allie8020 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this amazing story, Bambi!

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 7 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Amazing story and it surely wasn't his time yet. Glad it had a happy ending. All the best to you.

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 7 years ago

      Hi Bambi. Thank you for sharing your incredible story. It is amazing. All the best to you and Scott.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Thanks to both you and your husband for sharing this incredible story of courage and determination. I'm sure Scott must provide hope and inspiration to anyone who has a physical challenge to overcome. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing that. Yes, it was long, but i couldn't "put it down." With all the pictures and day-by-day reports, you really get a feeling for just how long the road to recovery is. Good luck to all of you!

      ;-)

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      moonlitta 7 years ago

      This is shaking... reminder of how things turn upside down in seconds and whole life can't bring them back where they were. It's good to remember that. Thank you for sharing, and many blessings to you and family!

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      Distrx 7 years ago

      That is an amazing story! The strength and determination of your family is remarkable!

    • SquidooFanatic profile image

      SquidooFanatic 7 years ago

      This was such an inspiring read and i really admire the way you never gave up. It was also good to be able to read both yours and Scott version of things. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • javr profile image

      javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      An amazing, inspirational story. Good luck to you and yours.

    working