Archive for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Mother, son recuperating from burns

October 6, 2004

A fund has been established to help the family of a Tonganoxie mother and her 3-year-old son who were badly burned in a kitchen accident at home.

A week ago Sunday, Mary Breedlove was cooking when she answered a knock at the door of their apartment on Ridge Street. While she was in the other room, a pan of grease caught fire.

Mary grabbed the pan and ran toward the outside door. In doing so, grease splashed on her right hand and arm.

But even worse, the blistering-hot grease also spilled on her son's back and pooled in his disposable diaper.

"His diaper melted to his back," Mary said, trying not to cry as she spoke. "The Pampers melted to his burn, it held it in, that's why it got him so bad."

¢ The "Mary Breedlove" fund has been established at First State Bank and Trust. In this area the bank has two locations in Tonganoxie, at 400 Bury and at U.S. Highway 24-40 at Laming Road, one branch in Basehor, at U.S. Highway 24-40 and 155th St., and two locations in Lawrence, at 609 Vermont St., and 3901 W. Sixth St.

¢ Cards may be sent to Shawn Breedlove at Room 2423, Children's Mercy Hospital, 2401 Gillham Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108. No flowers or plants are allowed in Shawn's room.

Ambulances took mother and son to different directions -- Mary was treated and released at Lawrence

Memorial Hospital. Shawn was rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital, where he is still a patient. His mother doesn't expect him to be released for a month or longer.

"My son will have skin grafts done Wednesday," she said.

For a child who until the accident has been an active 3-year-old, the week has been painful, physically and emotionally.

"He hasn't walked for a week," Mary said, explaining he was seriously burned on his right foot.

"The burn is from his toes all the way back to his heel on his right foot."

To ensure Shawn has plenty of nutrients, a feeding tube is putting food into his stomach.

And he's been unusually quiet, his mother said.

"He just don't say a whole lot of anything anymore," Mary said Monday. "He just lays there. A few times he's asked to come home."

The Breedloves also have three other children, ages 10, 5 and 1, who have been staying with a neighbor.

It's been difficult for Mary and her husband, Shawn, to spend as much time with Shawn at Children's Mercy Hospital as they would like. Every day Mary has to go to Lawrence to see her plastic surgeon.

After that she goes to a therapist who works with her hand. Then -- assuming there's money to buy gasoline for the car and someone to drive her -- Mary heads to Kansas City, Mo., to see her son at Children's Mercy Hospital.

The family's troubles are compounded by financial issues.

"My husband is laid off right now and he's trying to find work," Mary said. "We just don't have any money."

Her husband, Shawn, works in construction, she said.

Mary, who is 28, has no medical insurance. Her doctors have told her it will be at least a year before she's back to "normal," Mary said.

The grease burned the nerves in her ring finger and her little finger, said Mary, who was a lifelong Basehor resident before moving to Tonganoxie a year ago.

"I can't move them, I can't feel them," she added.

But, young Shawn's health care is covered by Medicaid, Mary said.

Right now the family needs financial assistance with everything from rent to utilities to groceries to gasoline.

"We pay $100 to $120 a week just to travel back and forth from my doctors and to see Shawn," Mary said.

And right now, Shawn needs all the tender loving care he can get.

Mary said she knows he's still the little guy who loves to play with his toy frogs and dinosaurs.

But right now nothing's the same for him.

"We try to get him out of the bed and he says 'No -- my foot I want it to be covered up,'" Mary said. "He doesn't like to be uncovered -- he doesn't like for anybody to see his owies."

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