Dislcaimer – post contains images that may offend sensitive viewers. The images are of a burn injury.
Have you ever experienced such terror that you couldn’t move for a few seconds? Terror at hearing your child scream in pain and not know what to do? That was me a few weeks ago when Ethan had a terrible accident.
We were away for the weekend. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect and the kids were well-behaved (mostly) and having the time of their lives. We were on the bank of the Breede River, glamping in the most perfect spot of Rivierzicht close to Robertson. Harper couldn’t contain her excitement of all the grass she was able to walk barefoot on and all the sand she could eat. We even took a few dips on the river. Heaven.
On our last day there, we had made a fire in the pit to heat up our breakfast as there was no microwave for that purpose. Hours later, this gorgeous little barge came down the river. The barge offers trips down the river from a nearby campsite. There was so much excitement about this watercraft, especially from Ethan. It was his first time being this close to something so cool. He was jumping up and down in wonder and spotted a little dog on the barge. As the barge was casually drifting down the river, Ethan was following it, exclaiming at us to look, look, look! I was in the tent, packing up the last of our goodies as we were getting ready to leave.
My friend had come around to chat about something and we were standing on the deck, looking at the river but not really taking note of our surroundings as we were deep in conversation. And then, disaster! I hear Ethan start crying and another friend of mine run to pick him up. At this point, his crying changed to screams and I was just standing there watching as everything unfolded. Thinking he just fell and scraped his knee, not really seeing the panic in my friend’s face, I took my time to make my way down to them.
At this time, they had him under the tap that was close by and I only then realised the seriousness of the situation. You see, Ethan was following the barge on the river and not realised where he was walking as he was looking at the dog and laughing when he fell into the fire pit. Even though we had made fire hours before, the coals were still hot. I rushed to him and just held him, trying to calm him while my sister applied Burnshield to his hand.
Mark had gone to the ablution block during this time and when he returned and heard what happened, he immediately grabbed Ethan and got him into the car. I barely had time to grab my purse and get in the car before he was racing to the hospital. That was the longest 25 minute drive of my life. Ethan alternated from screaming, to crying, to whimpering in pain this whole time. And there was absolutely nothing I could do beside murmur a bunch of nonsensical words of comfort into his ear.
At the hospital, they immediately attended to him. When they realised that we had used Burnshield on his injury, they seemed to relax a bit and complimented us on having it at hand and using it. Ethan had a second degree burn on his right hand, loads of blisters and not much more. Considering how much more severe it could have been, we are so lucky that it wasn’t worse.
He has had to attend a Wound Clinic a couple times a week and eventually ended up having surgery on his hand to remove the dead, burned skin. I thank the plastic surgeon for his knowledge and care and for how gently he treated Ethan. Every time we walked into the clinic, Ethan screamed knowing that they had to remove the bandage to assess his wound.
Without the surgery, I honestly think his healing would’ve taken longer than it has. His hand is looking so great now and he has healed so well. This was such a freak accident and nothing anyone could’ve done would’ve prevented it from happening.
The lesson we take from this is that accidents happen, suddenly and without any warning. Always have a fully stocked first aid kit with you wherever you go. Especially ensure that it’s stocked with Burnshield.