Friday, August 12, 2011
A cousin's trials
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.