On July 15th, 2005 I was severely injured in a Fire Pit incident in Stanley ID. I would sustain 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 45% of my body and 1st degree burns on over another 10% including the side of my face.
My back, torso, and butt were deeply burned, as well as my right hand and right leg. I had 2nd degree burns on my left hand and arm, and 3rd degree on the tops of both feet.
I endured a 3-month ICU stay at the University of Utah Burn unit. I had 9 skin grafts and 2 major surgeries and a couple smaller ones to save my right hand and right leg.
To save my hand involved amputation of the tips of all my fingers and thumb. My leg involved removal of my Latissimus muscle from the left side of my back and having it wrapped around my right leg from the shin/calf area down around my ankle.
I had to learn to walk again, and learn how maneuver with a disproportioned upper body. I had to use my right hand differently. It is painful to this day, with nerve endings just under the fingertips. It took almost a year to get back to a state of self-sufficiency, to do the basics again.
My physical strength came back, but the dexterity it takes to play guitar too much longer to figure out. Most notably, I had to figure out how to strum a guitar again. Through many years of trial and error, and giving up from time to time, I was able to come back and find the strength to play again. It is what drives my life, and makes me truly happy. I am grateful to be able to do it again.
It took many years to recover from the mistakes I made that fateful night. I’ve grown and been able to forgive myself for causing such a tragedy to myself and my family. My burn injury does not go away, the scars remain. The physical pain in much less and does not come near as often. With a lot of work, I have healed from this injury, and am living and thriving today.
Without the family I have, and the group of core friends that always believed in me and encouraged me, I would not be here at all, much less playing music again. Thank you for supporting my journey, and for taking the time to listen to my music.
Below is a Podcast(10/2/2019) about my Burn Injury & the journey to living a life with purpose. It is unscripted and unedited, telling it as I remember it. Have a listen.
Disclaimer: This is some pretty GRAPHIC footage below!