Oftentimes, a burn injury has mental and emotional impacts on more than just the burn survivor.
Several years ago, Jai, her husband and their three children, took a small vacation to ride quads in the desert. While at the campsite, her 5-year-old daughter, Rebecca, was sitting on a beach chair next to an open fire. As the chair tilted to the side, she fell off and suffered a second-degree burn on her arm. The fire was extinguished, but the next morning, their 21 month old daughter, Ryann, accidentally walked into the leftover steaming hot coals leaving her left foot severely burned and her right foot suffering second degree burns. They immediately sought medical treatment at the UC San Diego Regional Burn Center, and after nine surgeries, a month in the Burn Center and nearly losing her foot, Ryann was able to go home. Their family left the hospital with an extraordinary feeling of joy to see her walk and smile again.
Massage, pressure garments and silicone pieces were a part of their daily routine for over a year. As a parent, Jai felt helpless over and over again unable to alleviate Ryann’s pain, yet after a very traumatizing year, their life was finally settling into a sense of normalcy. The Burn Institute was there as a crutch for the family and provided opportunities for them to attend events and support group sessions where they had the unique opportunity to interact with other burn survivors. In 2016, their family attended Family Retreat where they were able to talk though each family member’s experience with Rebecca and Ryann’s injuries and grow together through the trauma that occurred year’s ago. Their family is currently happy and thriving, but they know this injury will be something that they work though their whole lives.