“After sustaining injuries to 80% of his body, he spent five long months in the hospital”
At age nine, Dawson was indulging in one of his favorite activities when suddenly the course of his life was altered. He and his grandfather were spending some quality time together fixing an old car when a fire erupted. The flames engulfed Dawson, and he sustained burns on over 80% of his body. Most notably, his face, arms, and torso were severely injured. Immediately admitted to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati, the following 48 hours were critical in determining Dawson’s future.
Due to the extent of the burns on his face, neck, and overall upper body, he was placed on a ventilator to help him breathe. Plenty of fluids and medication were rapidly pumped into his bloodstream to avoid dehydration and to prevent his fragile little body from going into shock. Doctors raced to cleanse his wounds, debride his blisters, and shave his hair within two to three inches of his injuries. The next step in a burn survivor’s standard treatment is skin grafting. Healthy skin from elsewhere on the patient’s body is harvested in order to use it to cover the burn wounds. This is crucial in preventing infection.
Dawson spent the next five months in the hospital, entertaining himself with his superhero action figures and Hot Wheels cars as his body slowly healed. He even had to spend his birthday in the confines of the hospital. As part of his treatment plan, Dawson wore elastic bandages and then customized pressure garments to flatten the tissue, making the long-term appearance of his wounds more acceptable. The excellent medical care that he received from his dedicated team of healthcare providers and Dawson’s own determination were instrumental in simply getting him out of his hospital bed and to the pediatric playroom. All of his hard work and resilience throughout his painful struggle to recover were truly awe-inspiring.
It is with great pride that we honor Dawson’s brave perseverance by recognizing him as Kid’s Wish Network’s along with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati’s Hero of the Month. Way to go, Dawson!