Burned boy learns valuable lesson about gasoline
CHELAN, Dec 26, 2012 (The Wenatchee World - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Clayton Kimsey played football and competed in a junior rodeo this year, all things his mother never thought he would be able to do.
Clayton was badly burned Jan. 15 and spent 47 days recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Sissy Kimsey took that same time off work to stay with her son.
"It was very, very hard, watching my child in the hospital," she said. "You could tell he was in pain but I wasn't able to help."
Clayton, now 16 and a sophomore at Chelan High School, says he learned a valuable lesson when he got burned: "Don't pour gas on a fire."
Clayton and a friend wanted the bonfire in Clayton's back yard to burn better.
"As I was pouring it on the fire, the fire followed the vapor trail into the gas can, and the gas can exploded," he said.
He tried rolling on the ground but finally had to strip off his clothing to stop the fire from burning him.
At first, he said, "I didn't think it was that bad" but he quickly learned different when his father, Bruce, and his mother, came running out of the house after hearing the explosion. They took one look at his injuries and called 911.
Clayton was flown from Chelan to Harborview where he was treated for serious burns to his forearms and lower legs. The first few days were "touch and go," his mother said, but "within a week they knew he was going to be fine."
Still, Sissy Kimsey worried. "I did not think he was going to get to do anything that he liked," she said.
She said she was thrilled that the doctors told Clayton he could play football and do chute-dogging in junior rodeo. He took first-place in his age division this summer. He also played center, right guard and kicker on his junior varsity team, which went undefeated this past season. This summer, he worked as a cherry sorter.
Still, for another year, Clayton has to wear pressure clothing on his legs and arms, which help minimize scarring and help the healing.
Sissy Kimsey said she is grateful to the community for its fund-raising efforts on behalf of her son.
She is also grateful that her son has survived and learned not to mix gasoline and fire.
"There's no way he'll ever do that again," she said. "He doesn't even like campfires anymore."
Dee Riggs: 664-7147
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