Blake was riding dirt bikes with his dad when he encountered a patch of loose sand. As he struggled to steer, his bike slid out from under him, pulling his right leg under the wheel. The scorching hot muffler melted his shin guard and posterior calf.
Blake was rushed to Children’s Hospital Colorado where he underwent two outpatient surgeries for skin grafting to repair his severely burned skin.
“As a parent, it’s hard to see your kid go through that type of pain and surgery,” said Blake’s dad, Cal.
The pain from Blake’s accident was not only physical, but also emotional. He was too self-conscious about his scar to wear shorts for more than a year after his accident.
Once his burn wounds healed, Blake started attending the hospital’s Burn Camps Program. The team activities helped him flourish and gain the confidence to speak openly about his scars.
“Other people who have been burned can help you through what you're going through,” said Blake.
Today, the 13-year-old Lego connoisseur wears shorts all the time and tells others that he is stronger than the burns that tried to harm him and the residual scar that used to dictate his clothing choices.
For Blake, courage is about being brave and fearless.
“He doesn't have to let his burn define who he is,” said Cal.
Not only has Blake developed friendships with other burn survivors at Burn Camps, he also formed a strong bond with his caregivers at Children's Colorado.
“His surgeon and nurses worked to ease our fears and educate us about what could be expected with his surgeries and recovery,” said Blake’s mom, Mary Beth.
Blake was touched when his Child Life specialist, Allison, framed and hung up a letter he wrote for her.
“Allison was always upbeat, fun and happy,” said Blake. “She never had a negative attitude and that always transferred on to me.”
The burn team that worked with Blake said his upbeat attitude and resilient spirit remind them that they help mend both bodies and minds. Mary Beth said Children’s Colorado caregivers have done just that.
“They not only treated Blake's acute burn injury, but continue to heal his emotional scars.”