Friday, August 12, 2011

A cousin's trials

This is a picture of cousins in attendance at the reunion last Sunday.  Pay particular attention to the second lady from the right, in the light blue blouse.  Her name is Wanda; since her husband died, she lives alone.
There's a heater in the living room of her country home that allows you to see the flame, but it isn't an open flame; there's glass in front of it. One morning last November, Wanda still had her flannel pajamas on and was talking on the telephone.  She was rather chilly, so she backed up closer to the heater... very close, in fact.  
As she was chatting, she smelled scorching cloth, and in the same instant, flames shot up over her left shoulder.  She reached back to pull the pajama top away from her and there was nothing left to grab.  She shouted something into the phone and ran to the bathtub, got in, and turned on the shower, holding her left shoulder under it; as she did that, flames shot up over her right shoulder.  
She spent several months in the hospital and is still undergoing therapy.  She has more surgery to look forward to this fall.  She has to wear a very tight-fitting garment on her upper body at all times, only removing it when she takes a shower.
I find it amazing that she survived such a thing, being all alone as she was, and that her house didn't catch fire.  To look at her face, you'd never know she had been burned; the damage is on her back, and on and under her arms.  
She said that these days when she sees news on TV about a child getting badly burned, she can't help but cry because she knows how much they are suffering.    

11 comments:

patsy said...

my sister Betty was b urnt like that when she was a child and it left her forever marred by the memory of the pain.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is amazing that she didn't burn the house down too. I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

darev2005 said...

Yikes. I'm wearing my flannel pj's right now. And even if there's no heat on, it's making me nervous. I worked in a neon shop around open flames for years and just barely missed setting myself on fire several times. Between that and the risk of electrocution the place made me paranoid.

Paula said...

What a terrible scary thing to have happen. I wish her the best in healing and recovery.

TARYTERRE said...

Oh my. How she must suffer with the pain. Healing is a slow process. What a horrible thing to happen. Thank goodness she survived and the house didn't catch on fire. You can't take anything for granted. I had a kerosene heater I had to deal with alone and I was terrified each time I started it.

Forty Pound Sack said...

She must be a very strong lady to endure all that, and still have such a lovely smile. You gals are tough cookies!

madcobug said...

She did good running an turning on the shower. I doubt that I would have thought to do that. I bet that tight garment is hot. May God continue to be with her. Helen

Adirondackcountrygal said...

Praying for her recovery. Burns are terrible.

Michaele said...

How terrifying it must have been. You described it well. I think older people suffer just as much if not more than a small child and heal so much slower. Her quick thinking saved her.

Jon said...

Many of the worst accidents occur at home. If she didn't think quickly, it could have been even worse. Recovery from burns is always difficult, but I hope hers is a speedy one.

When I was a small child, one of my great-aunts was cooking at a stove and her bathrobe caught fire. She was hospitalized for several weeks.

Margaret said...

I admire her! She kept her wits in a very stressful and painful situation. (I would panic) Hope that she recovers well.