And those fears weren't unfounded...I will never forget telling Clifton's Dr that I needed him to let me know when Clifton was of the woods & he replied, "When he's out of the hospital. I've had burn patients be here 6 weeks & are doing fine & then an infection comes along & they die." *gasp!*
When I first saw my son after his accident (find an explanation in this post ) I would not have recognized him as my son. His face & neck were burned & bandaged & swollen beyond recognition....his entire torso was mummified in bandages! By the next day, I had resigned myself to the fact that he was never going to be the same or look the same. EVER! The Drs gave us a pretty grim prognosis. They predicted a skin graft would be needed on his right cheek (in addition to the grafting needed on his leg, torso, arms & hands), that he would have limited use of his left hand & only minimal use of his right & that he would be disfigured & disabled. That I would need to plan on spending the next year caring for him!
But what do they know?!?!?! God has other plans for my son.... for look at him today, just 4 months after his accident! His left hand is fully functional & his PT predicts that hard work will bring the return of most, of the functionality, of his right. His scarring is minimal on his face & will fade w/ time. And he's completely self-sufficient!!!!
But God doesn't deserve all the credit...Clifton works long, hard, painful hours EVERY day to loosen up the contracture that forms in his limbs at night while he sleeps. He maintains his sense of humor & keeps us all laughing....sometimes over inappropriate or ghastly jokes about his accident! He has told us that he no longer wants to work for us at our shop. He wants to go to school to become a physical therapist so that he can help others, the way he has been helped. The boy makes his mama proud!
The reporter who first covered his accident was very touched by Clifton & his story & recently contacted him to do a follow-up. This is a picture of Clifton, standing in front of the burned wall of our shop, (the splint he wears on his right hand is to help control the contracture...he wore one on his left for a time but no longer needs it) that the Ft Worth Star telegram posted of him in a recent front page article . here's the link to this weeks article as well as a video they made of him. (the black glove & sleeves you see on him are compression garments...they help minimize the thickness of the scars for better appearance & function)
His dad was soooo right...(quoted from the article) " His father said, "I told them (Drs): 'You don’t know him. He’s a tough kid and, I promise you, he’ll be ahead of schedule.’ "
He's always been special...I've known it, his father has known it. Now the world knows it too.