"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Shameless Mom brag!

Excuse me while I do a Mom brag. Many of y'all know of my son's accident, for those of you who don't, you can read about it here & here . I didn't give many details of the accident in those posts (maybe beacsue it was still too raw to talk about) but he was draining diesel fuel someone had mistakenly put into a gasoline-powered car, using an electric fuel pump. Standard practice in the automotive industry but in this instance, something sparked & it all went up in flames...Clifton included. His brother, Dustin, saved his life; ripping his shirt off & covering him w/ a tarp. Diesel fuel does not extinquish easily though & Clifton's burns were very extensive. He suffered 3rd degrees burns on his entire front torso, right thigh (down to the knee), both arms (from the tops of his shoulders down to his fingertips) & both hands. He suffered 4th degree burns on his right hand, which required amputation of 2 fingers. All of these areas were grafted in several surgeries. He also suffered 2nd degree burns on his neck, face, ears, groin & portions of his back but these areas did not require grafting, thank God.

Yesterday he had another burn clinic appointment. He goes to physical therapy twice a week but since his wounds have healed, he only see Drs every 2 months now. The head burn Dr, who is notorious for being harsh in his assessment of the patients & their abilities, told Clifton that he had made more progress than any patient he has had in a very long time... maybe ever. And he did it w/ no release surgeries! (release surgeries are usually necessary for contracture. The scarred skin literally contracts up as it heals & scars, like a rubber band) Clifton works so hard @ stretching, despite the pain, that he breaks open (releases) the scar bands himself. Except for his right hand, he has full range of motion. That's hard to achieve & it usually takes a couple of years...especially w/ burns as severe as his. Clifton has done in it in less than 6 mos! Dr Gabriel also said (& I quote), "Mark this one down in the books...we've had a burn patient quit taking pain meds before they were refused them."

Yep, that's right! Clifton hasn't taken his pain meds in over a month. He says it makes him feel foggy & he doesn't want to be foggy around Noah (he cares for his baby Noah while Stacie is @ work...I'd be happy to do it of course but Clifton wants to do it himself...I do keep Noah 2 days a week though). I cannot tell you how proud I am of my son. He has undergone a tragedy that is beyond most of our comprehension, has pain that, according to his Drs, is the most horrific pain imaginable & he does it all w/ a wonderful, positive attitude & a smile on his face.

This is a picture of Clifton & Stacie taken @ Christmas this year. We were very fortunate that his face didn't scar much. That florid complexion he & I have (& hate!) came in handy for the burns. The Drs told us it kept blood flowing near the surface, which helped skin regeneration. There's a couple of small scars here & there but they'll fade w/ time & he's grown a goatee to cover the scars under his chin. He's still one handsome man, huh?




Here he is w/ his look-alike son, Noah...I call them Frick & Frack. *grins* I've neevr seen a man so bonded to his newborn. I'm sure it's because he is the primary care-giver. We used to tell Clifton, while he was in the hospital, that one good thing would come of his accident....he would get the gift of time w/ his son that most men never get. He takes full advantage of it.



If we all had just a bit of Clifton's strength of character, determination & positive outlook, the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in. He's always wanted to be a hero... I'm sure he imagined it to be a bit more glamorous but he got his wish for he is, indeed, my hero.

25 comments:

Lisa said...

He should be your hero! He's very handsome!! :)Lisa

Stacey said...

He is to be admired. What a precious family. :)

HoneyB said...

Cami, this is so touching, it makes tears come to my eyes. You have a wonderful son!

Susan said...

Beautiful post!

Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Valentine's Day Cami!

Susan

Knitty said...

What a wonderful story to share with us. Besides the obvious luck of surviving the accident, I think your son and all of your family has a lot of luck, or perhaps it should be called blessings.

Terri and Bob said...

Thank you for sharing his story with us. Those of us who are complaining about the lack of money, or not getting the right car or having the right clothes... your son puts us to shame. Enduring the things he did, and living a grateful life, is teaching me what is truly important today.

Anonymous said...

Aw Cami, like Shelby I got a lump in my throat. What an amazing boy you've got there...
Jam

~Vanessa~ said...

Vinty - this is a beautiful post! And, in my humble opinion, you are a big part of the wonderful family and Clifton's recovery. You are a Mom SuperStar!

tardevil said...

Awwww, what a sweet post! I know you must be very proud of him. I've often heard the survival rate from severe burns is not very good, so he must have lots of special angels on his side! He looks great! And you're right about one thing...if more people had that determination, we'd be better off! Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Ginger said...

Hi Cami:
Your son, and grandson, are very handsome. I can't imagine the horrible pain he must of been in, being burnt like that. I burn myself cooking and it throbs for hours. I'm so glad he is doing so well, and I would be proud of him too, if he was my son.
Happy Valentine's day
Ginger

Shanda said...

I commend your son on his determenation and bravery. God bless him. My granny was severly burned once and she was in the hospital for over 6 mos. That was along time ago and it probably wouldn't take as long now days. He has been through an ordeal that's for sure.

Thank you for visiting me and I cherish your comments.

Lisa (aka) French said...

Amazing!! What a breath of fresh air to read something like this;) French

imjacobsmom said...

Oh! I feel for you all, and I can see the pride you have for your son. I commend him for his strength and courage and his accomplishments! He is a great role model for his precious son! ~ Robyn

Gail McCormack said...

I came over to look at your Center Piece, which by the way is beautiful!

I got caught up in your son's story, what a brave wonderful man. With our horrific bush fires here this week I've learnt a lot about burns over the past few days through the newspapers and radio and not first hand thankfully.
The long, painful healing process ... goodness what a wonderful family you are, you certainly deserve to be a "Shameless Mom bragger"

Thank you for sharing your story with us

Lynn Stevens said...

What beautiful vinettes you have created in your home . Happy Valentines Day

ann said...

God bless you all.He is a very goodlooking man.I'm so happy he's doing well now.I can only imagine what you have been thru...Ann

The Whispering Poppies said...

What an amazing man! I can tell you are a proud Mom, and you have every right to be! =)

Mandi said...

Your boys are sooo handsome! It is such an ispiring story, and his time with the baby is so precious...I know they are good for each other.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Your son is a super hero! I'm sure his son will grow up and hear the story and be so proud to have him as a daddy!

In todays times it's so nice to hear stories of those who have over come hard times.

Your other son is a hero too for being so fast to run to his help and put the fire out.

You are also a hero for raising such wonderful boys!

Hugs,
Joanne

debbie said...

DEAR CAMI,
I JUST THIS EARLY AM FOUND THE COMMENT YOU LEFT ME. WHAT A PRECIOUS NOTE AND TO SEE CLIFTON, STACEY AND BABY NOAH.
I CAN SEE THE DETERMINATION ON CLIFTON'S FACE...THE SAME AS MY AMY...THEY ARE THE SURVIVORS....WHAT I LIKE TO CALL THE MEAN MARINES
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME IS I WAS A NURSE FOR OVER 20 YEARS....ONE OF MY PATIENTS WAS BURNED OVER 90% OF HIS BODY......A BURN VICTIM, AS YOU KNOW, NEVER LOOSES CONSCIOUSNESS...THEY ARE FULLY AWAKE AND NO ONE...NO ONE...KNOWS THE PAIN THEY GO THROUGH OR THE FEAR OF INFECTION AS THE SKIN IS OUR DEFENSE AGAINST INFECTION AND OF COURSE WHEN YOU ARE BURNED THERE GOES YOUR PROTECTION........
KNOWING THAT HE DID NOT HAVE TO HAVE SURGERY TO RELEASE CONTRACTURES TELLS ME THE EXTENT OF THE "MARINE" HE IS....HE IS ONE TOUGH MAN......HE HAS A VERY HIGH PAIN TOLERANCE...THAT MAKES ME CRY......I HATE TO SEE ANY ONE OR ANY BODY SUFFER....BUT PRAISE GOD......LIKE MY DAUGHTER GOD HAS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL FOR THEM TO DO THAT NO BODY ELSE CAN DO BUT WHAT HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO THEM......WE EACH HAVE A JOB BUT I BELIEVE THE ONES WHO WALK THROUGH SUCH A TRIAL HAVE EARNED THE RESPECT FOR PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY....ONLY MY DAUGHTER WON'T TALK ABOUT HER TWO NEAR DEATH ILLNESSES....SHE JUST WANTS TO GET ON WITH LIFE....NOT REALIZING WHAT HOPE SHE COULD GIVE TO OTHERS.
I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE HAVING A GIVE AWAY....HAPPY BLOG ANNIVERSARY. I JUST STARTED BLOGGING IN JANUARY 2009.
IT IS SUCH A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU ALL.
CAMI, YOUR HOME IS BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE...LOVE....THAT PICTURE THAT SAYS ROSE....WE LOVE THE SAME THINGS.
HERE'S TO A NEW FRIENDSHIP
I SHALL CONTINUE PRAYING...YOU TELL YOUR SON I AM SOOO VERY PROUD OF HIM.....HE HAS MY RESPECT. LIKE MY DAUGHTER THEY TRULY ARE HEROES BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EASIER TO HAVE GIVEN UP AND DIED...BUT THEY FOUGHT TO LIVE
AND HUG YOUR SON FOR ME THAT SAVED HIM...HE IS THE BIGGEST HERO........
HUGS
LOVE
debbie

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

This sweet post just gives me goosebumps. You have every right to be oh so proud of your handsome son. And that precious little grandbaby is adorable, too! Isn't God good?!?!

Big TX Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

Carrie said...

Cami - I am glad that you provided this update, it is such an amazing story!

Linda said...

What a handsome guy and wow he is a brave soul facey such challenges they way he does! God's healing and blessings upon him and his family!
Amazing, touching!
Linda

Dawn said...

Your son sounds like a remarkable man who has overcome so much! He is a handsome man to boot!!

He must absolutely adore his beautiful little boy!

I wish him well!

take care,
Dawn

Sassy said...

YOUR SON AND YOUR HERO...that is quite a story and you have every bragging right...it sounds as if you are very lucky to still have him...I am happy he is doing so well and what a beautiful grandchild you have!!!!