One minute, Geordan was a happy, rambunctious five-year-old enjoying the great outdoors with his family. It only took one misstep for life to change forever. The family was packing up their campsite on August long weekend when Geordan fell backward into the fire pit and landed on coals.
The family raced little Geordan to the hospital – first to Medicine Hat and then to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. The embers had seared Geordan’s palms, fingers, both forearms, his back, bottom, one knee and his ankle – no less than 20% of his body was covered in third-degree burns. A million things went through Katie’s mind. One of the things Katie didn’t have time to think about was the cost of care, specifically burn garments, which act to minimize scarring. Geordan spent six weeks at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and mom slept in a bed beside him every night. He required skin grafts and it became clear he would require four different burn garments to wear during the day and another four to wear at night—eight pieces in all, at a cost of about $250 each. While a government program covers 75% of the cost, 25% is left to be shouldered by families who, in many cases, will require multiple sets of burn garments as their child grows.
Burn garments might be required for only a few months, or as long as two years. Geordan is expected to need as many four or five sets of burn garments over his two-year scar treatment plan. This year, the generosity of donors meant families like Katie’s could focus on what matters most rather than worry about their bank accounts. Katie was only too happy to learn a donor-funded burn assistance program would be there to help her family along Geordan’s journey.
Katie is so thankful the Alberta Children’s Hospital was there for her son when he unexpectedly needed it, and thankful for generous supporters of the Burn Fund who helped make a difficult time for her family much easier to manage.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.