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He laughs and giggles at “peek-a-boo”.  He colors with his healed hand. He eats crackers non-stop. He points and makes all kinds of cute little noises. And finally, yes, he smiles.

We have a long way since the first critical day when J.R. was burned in a fire. He arrived at our house at 5 am, the hospital he was initially brought to, having done nothing for him. His skin hung in burnt ribbons, his head already beginning to swell from the trauma. I truly had no idea how serious this burn was or I may never have thought I could handle it… Read more

His bandages are changed twice a day, sometimes three times. Both legs, his head, both hands and his entire right arm. That comes to 50% of his body when you add it up. The places where infection has set in must be “debrided”, or cleaned. As the days  passed, his little hand and arm began to swell. It seemed the skin would burst but for the thick layer of infection that seemed to hold it all in… Knowing this was the most painful part of his burn, we cleaned gently. His cries tugged at all of our hearts… he would whimper for hours even after his pain medication… Read more

It is Day 5 after the fire in Escopa. We have been so busy here at Gentle Hands after the Christmas Day fire under the bridge.

My morning shift over, its 2am. I gently woke Mandy who had grabbed 5 hours of sleep between shifts. Each hour of sleep is precious. Tonight, little JR won’t sleep… he whimpers and cries.

Picture 22 Read more

I was sleeping soundly. It had been a long day, but wonderful. There had been food and presents this Christmas Day. I was so very tired. Outside, my dad was in a drunken stupor screaming at my mom. How many times in the last week had he been drunk? Last week, when my mom took me to get medicine from Ate Cher, he was drunk then too… I remember cuz she really yelled at him. Read more