Real family case-study: Tomas’ story
We were contacted by parents Tomas and Vickie who wanted to share their son Tomas’ story in order to help raise awareness of the dangers of burns, specifically those caused by hot water spills, to children. This case-study, which is bravely shared by them in their own words, is powerful as it highlights the risks around every day items such as a kettle, and carries an important reminder that accidents can happen just as easily when everyone is relaxed on holiday as they can at home.
Here is their story:
In June 2019 Tomas was 7 when he, his twin and his elder brother were bouncing on an airbed while on holiday in France. To this day no one in the family recalls putting the kettle on as we had been having a BBQ and just had a shower after a lovely swim.
The children were bouncing and were laughing, but then all of a sudden there was a scream. Tomas had spilt a boiled kettle all down his right arm and a small splash on his head. An immediate, quick reaction from his dad followed, and we stripped the onesie he had on and applied cold water to the area. At the same time, I made sure the other two children had clothes on and searched for the nearest hospital. After what felt like an eternity, we arrived at a minimal English-speaking hospital 40 minutes later. They were simply amazing, without the staff starting the treatment and arranging for the nurses to redress daily I think our story and outcome for Tomas may have been different.
With the support and expert advice from our own doctors and the specialist at the French hospital, we were able to and carry on our holiday for 10 days. We came home knowing we would need to see a specialist. After driving 324 miles home, and having visited our local A&E, Tomas and I made the trip to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, 89miles away, to the burns ward. The nurses instantly made us feel comfortable and at ease. For two days, they washed dressed and looked after us beautifully. With no grafts needed, a couple of emotional breakdowns but mainly healed with creams, love, determination and time, Tomas’ burn is looking amazing.
His consultant, Professor Shah, has been incredible, after Tomas had been discharged we travelled 3 times a week, then once every 10 days over 4-5 weeks to the Burns and Plastics aftercare Clinic (BPAC). The staff at the clinic, receptionists, nurses, the clinical staff, and so many more that I’m sure I have missed, have been so wonderful to our family. We are currently being seen under pressure clinic, and now only 4 monthly visits.
Not just the accident itself, but the treatment too, has been a long haul and has been an upsetting, stressful and heart-breaking time for us all. But it is worth all this, to know you have done everything you can to do your best for your child and help his recovery.
We are so fortunate that we have as a family a good support network, trust in the process and the people who are there to help. We have an amazing relationship with RMCH BPAC clinic and they’ve helped in more ways than they will ever know.
Further information can be found here:
- Key prevention: https://www.cbtrust.org.uk/burn-prevention/
- Dangers of hot drinks: https://www.cbtrust.org.uk/burn-prevention/awareness-campaigns/hot-drinks/
- Burn survivor stories: https://www.cbtrust.org.uk/about/a-burn-injury-is-for-life/