On July 10, 2013, our three-year-old nephew Griffin was camping with his family near Moon Lake in eastern Utah. While eating a popsicle, he tripped and fell into the campfire. His right arm went deep into the coals. Fortunately, his oldest brother Dustin was nearby and was able to pull him out of the fire within seconds, but Griffin sustained third-degree burns on his right arm and hand, and second-degree burns on his right leg.
What Happened Next
Griffin's family drove for an hour to get him to the nearest hospital, in Roosevelt, where he was given pain medication. They then had to wait an hour and a half for an ambulance, followed by a two-hour ride to University Hospital's Burn Center in Salt Lake City. He was placed in the intensive care unit. The doctors were concerned that the damage to his hand was so severe they might need to remove Griffin's pinkie and ring finger, but they had to wait several days for the swelling on his arm to go down before they could really assess his condition.
Even after that initial assessment, the doctors were still unsure if they could save Griffin's pinkie. They scheduled skin graft surgery for a few days later. That surgery was supposed to take three to four hours, but ended up taking more than five due to the delicate procedures needed for the skin grafts onto Griffin's tiny fingers. For the grafts, they took skin from Griffin's right leg -- which, unfortunately, can be even more painful than the burns on his arm. Because skin grafts must be kept completely still and Griffin is a very active child, they kept him completely sedated for several days after the surgery.
The doctors were still concerned that circulation to Griffin's pinkie was too low because the finger remained white, but after several more days, its color began to come back, and so it looks like he will keep all his fingers. The skin grafts appear to have gone well, although it's possible Griffin will need more grafts in the future as he grows.
Griffin will spend several more weeks in intensive care before he can go home, and he will require at least twelve months of physical therapy to regain the use of his hand.
The Financial Situation
Griffin's father is a science teacher, so the family does have insurance. However, they are still responsible for 20% of the medical bills incurred in Griffin's care, up to an annual $6000 out-of-pocket maximum. Unfortunately, because the insurance year runs in conjunction with the school year and a lot of Griffin's treatment will take place in future months, it's likely they will hit that maximum for this year and next year. There are also travel expenses from driving 140 miles (one way) back and forth between their home in Roosevelt and the hospital in Salt Lake, so that Griffins brothers and sister can have some semblance of a normal life at home but also visit Griffin in the hospital. Griffin's father has also had to forgo some potential income from summer work in order to spend time in Salt Lake with Griffin. So we would be grateful for any donations to help with Griffin's medical expenses and the family's related expenses.
--Darci Rhoades Stone & Eric James Stone, Griffin's aunt and uncle