Survivor Story: Kyle Daugherty

“The camps have provided him with a sense of hope for himself and compassion for others.”

Burn survivor Kyle Daugherty Face

“In December of 2008, I received a phone call that every parent fears. My son, Kyle had been seriously  burned in a kitchen accident while at the home of his father.  Immediately, I got into my car and drove to my son — beating the ambulance there. During the drive there, all I could think of was whether he would be ok or not. Having lost my little girl several years prior, all those traumatic memories came to the surface. As the day progressed, however it was quickly realized that while he could have potential scarring, he would survive.  My biggest worry turned into how the scars would look. I was fearful that he would be disfigured for life. The staff in the Burn Unit at Shriners were absolutely instrumental in calming my fears and giving me hope that everything would turn out just fine. I have never met a more compassionate, competent, caring group of health professionals — ever.

Several weeks later, after his return to school, Kyle came home with an envelope. In that envelope was information regarding the Firefighter’s Burn Institute Kids Camp. A local firefighter who knew of Kyle’s injury had provided the school with the information. I immediately began the process to sign Kyle up to go. Kyle went to the week-long camp — his first trip away from home, and came back raving about all the fun activities he did (well, okay, he raved about the food, too!). But most importantly, Kyle not only learned that he wasn’t alone and other kids have gone through what he has gone through, he has learned that people are still people, no matter what they may look like or if they are in a wheelchair, or have some other disability. Kyle has made some wonderful friends and looks forward to going back again this year. The camps have provided him with a sense of hope for himself and compassion for others. I will be forever grateful for the burn institute in helping turn such a traumatic event into an incredibly positive life changing experience.

On behalf of Kyle and the rest of our family, I would like to thank the FFBI for all the wonderful support you give, the hard work you do and especially for the wonderful, compassionate staff that you have!”

― Melinda Daugherty, Kyle’s mom