By Liana Jacob
GRASS FIRE that WENT WRONG left this brave little girl with THIRD DEGREE BURNS all over her body.
In February 2020, salon owner and stylist, Megan Hunt (28) from Kanab, Utah, USA, was picking up her son Kwinn (6) from school whilst her youngest daughter, Rawkee (4), and her sister, Martina (1) were with their father, Shay (28) on their farm.
However, Rawkee got caught in the flames of a grass fire that was caused whilst they were burning the fence lines with their dad.
She was rushed to Kane County Hospital where she was intubated and then was taken by a helicopter to Las Vegas University Medical Centre.
She spent five days in the intensive care unit (ICU) where she underwent her first surgery of skin grafts to all areas of her body which didn’t go to plan as her temperature dropped and cut short the operation.
At the Utah Burn Trauma Centre, Rawkee underwent three more surgeries; skin grafts on her legs, a procedure called recell, where they test skin samples and a full-sheet graft on her forehead. Her parents were informed that the fire caused 18.5 per cent of her body to be burnt with second and third degree burns on her face, front of both of her hands, left elbow, left ribcage and at the front of both of her knees in the thigh and calf areas.
Despite her ordeal at such a young age, Megan says that her daughter has shown great courage, independence and strength, as if she was ‘born to experience this journey’.
“The day of the accident I was with my son doing our daily drop off/pick up from school whilst my girls where spending the morning out on the farm with their dad,” she said.
“They love nothing more than spending the day doing farm chores with him; the farm/ranch lifestyle is more than just a passion for us – it’s who we are.
“Rawkee was caught in the flames of a small grass fire whilst burning fence lines with her dad on our farm. She was rushed to Kane County Hospital and intubated and then taken by helicopter to Las Vegas University Medical Centre.
“I was terrified and helpless, but also calm knowing that no good comes from losing control when things are suddenly out of your control.
“The staff at all the hospitals were professional and urgent in their care. Rawkee was in a critical condition and they wasted no time in getting her stabilised and secure.
“She had daily wound care to all affected areas by the fire and donor sights. New bandages each day, physical therapy, speech therapy that will all be ongoing.
“Until Rawkee is done growing (at about the age of eighteen) she will still be susceptible to more surgeries and therapy to help her as her body goes and stretches and as scars stretch and grow.
“I’ve never left her side; she needs someone at all times that she can count on. Trying to maintain daily routines as much as possible such as hairdos and fun clothing choices. We surround her with laughter, snuggles and lots and lots of creativity.”
Megan says that her daughter is a walking miracle and that she couldn’t be prouder of her.
“Rawkee has always been a child with the greatest courage, independence and strength. It was as if she was born to experience this journey. She has maintained a positive attitude and determination to get better and return home,” she said.
“I was surrounded by the prayers and support of both family and friends. Everyone was calm and eager to help in any way possible.
“Watching my daughter experience a level of pain I cannot relate to on any level was the hardest thing about the journey.
“We are currently on day thirty-nine and still anticipating several more weeks. We will do her first take down on Saturday morning to determine if graft applied to her forehead took.
“If it did, we will hopefully be headed home in the next fourteen to twenty-one days. If it didn’t take, we will undergo another surgery to again try and graft the forehead taking donor from her back if needed.
“Over the next year Rawkee will have compression clothing and regular physical therapy to aid in the healing process and maintain full mobility and range of motion. She will also start laser surgery late this summer for her face and legs.
“She truly is a miracle and we couldn’t be prouder of her and the progress she had made. She is a fighter and had given her recovery everything she has to give.
“Stay positive and maintain a consistent atmosphere when you are near your child. It’s okay to break down an let yourself have a big cry but don’t do it in front of your child.
“Children are very attuned and will think it’s their fault that something is wrong. I believe lots of smiles and laughter is the key.”