Six-year-old Reagan and her family are from a suburb of Cincinnati, so it was an adventure for parents Erin and Ryan to pile her, her three siblings and several cousins into the family car for an end-of-summer camping trip near Columbus, Ohio.
That evening, after a dinner of hot dogs and s’mores cooked over a campfire, the happy crew played nearby before heading to their tents for the night. Ryan is a firefighter, so Reagan and the other children were well versed in fire safety rules. However, twilight made it difficult to see the metal fire ring that encircled the smoldering hot coals. Reagan stumbled and fell into the ring and on the embers, receiving second and third-degree burns to the back of both legs.
Ryan grabbed her immediately and went straight to the nearest local hospital. “It all happened in a flash,” he recalled of the event. Once treated, the nurse asked where they would like to take Reagan for continuing treatment. Erin immediately requested Shriners Hospitals for Children—Cincinnati; she had a friend whose daughter had been recently treated for a coffee scald and knew it was the best destination for pediatric burns. They had an appointment two days later.
“With four children, we have had bumps, bruises and even stitches, but we never experienced anything like we did with Reagan’s accident,” Erin said. “I never knew how horrible burns were; how even the simple act of cleaning the wound causes excruciating pain. We are so grateful for what Shriners did for us.”
Fortunately, Reagan’s injuries were relatively mild and the family only had to make a few visits over a two-week period. Nevertheless, the kindness and superior care they experienced at Cincinnati Shriners Hospital stayed with them months after Reagan’s wounds had healed.
So when the holidays rolled around, Erin, who is a teacher at their area middle school, asked her students to gather donations for the hospital rather than gifts for her. They did not disappoint. Shortly after the holidays, Ryan delivered a large cart filled with games, books and craft items for other patients to enjoy. “It isn’t nearly enough to say thank you for all the wonderful work Shriners Hospitals do,” Erin said, “not only for our daughter Reagan, but for so many families across the country.”