Date Of Injury: September 2015
My name is Morgan Frazier and I am a loved one of a burn survivor. My boyfriend, Dalton, was burned in a work accident in September of 2015. Dalton was 22 years old at the time of the accident. He was very healthy and in great shape. Dalton is the type of person that everyone needs in their life. He is smart, funny, dependable and a great friend. He has changed my life and made me into the person I am today. I was truly blessed when God placed him into my life.
It took me quite some time to write this story. Sitting down to write “my story”, I wasn’t prepared for the feelings and emotions to hit me so hard again. I cried, I smiled and I rejoiced that we have reached the place we are today. I am thankful for this opportunity to share my story as I hope this helps somebody at sometime. Whenever I, or you, lose a little faith, I hope you remember this story and trust in God.
Tuesday, September 22nd began like any other day. Dalton woke me up before he went to work to kiss me goodbye and make sure I was awake for school. Dalton worked very hard so he could provide for not only himself but also for me. I was in school full time and was very close to finishing my degree.
I was sitting in class when I received multiple phone calls from numbers I did not know. After getting my attention, I finally stepped out and answered one of the phone calls. It was the paramedic that was taking Dalton to the hospital. Dalton had told him to call me and for me to go there. At this moment, I did not think anything of his accident. I figured it was something small; broken finger, sprained ankle, basically anything but what I found out.
After arriving at the hospital, I was told I could not see him and someone would be out to talk to me shortly. The chaplain of the hospital soon greeted me and asked if we could talk somewhere privately. I went into panic mode right then and there. I needed to talk to Dalton. I needed to see him. Before the chaplain could speak to me, a trauma doctor interrupted us and finally gave me some information on his condition. I was told that he was burnt badly at work and he was being flown to a facility that specialized in burn cases. As soon as they mentioned flying him to the other facility, I knew it was bad. I come from a mother who works in healthcare and I know that a helicopter ride (medically) is not fun and games. The doctor promised me that I would be able to see him for a brief second before they loaded him into the helicopter.
I will never be able to erase or forget the moment that I saw Dalton for the first time after his accident. The short minute I saw him was THE hardest minute of my life. I saw my whole entire world laying motionless on a bloody bed. There were bandages all over, wires everywhere and tubes breathing for him. I was able to express my love for him and he was swiftly taken off.
The ride to burn facility was awful. It was only a little over an hour from where we are from but it felt like 3-4 hours. I had tons of family and friends to call in regards to the accident. I kept thinking how I was not prepared for what is to come. Dalton is and always will be my rock. He is what gets me through all of the chaos of life. What was I supposed to do when I didn’t have him to assure me “everything was going to be okay”. I needed a hug from him and only him.
Arriving at the burn hospital and speaking to the doctors is scarred into my brain forever. As we (myself and Dalton’s family) sat down with a knowledgeable team of surgeons, we were finally told the extent of his injuries. He was burnt 85% of his body and most were 3rd degree burns. The plastic surgeon that primarily had his case repeatedly told us, “He is very sick” and “They will do everything they can but cannot make any promises.” I wasn’t able to stomach what was said. But, I held together and was ready to see him. It seemed like an eternity before they got him settled in to a room. They finally gave us the go ahead and I stepped in to his dark room. I thought I was alone but soon was reminded that I wasn’t. The moment I entered the room, I felt our beautiful daughter kick around inside my belly. Dalton and I found out we were pregnant with a girl, a short time before his accident. The second that I felt our sweet girl move around, I lost it. How would I be able to raise a baby without Dalton? We were supposed to raise and grow a family together.. Why was this in the way of it?
Before leaving Dalton’s room, I repeatedly told him how much I loved him and needed him to fight hard. I told him that our daughter needed her daddy and that he could not give up. No matter what.
The second night/third morning at the hospital, I finally broke down. Days and nights begin to blend together when you haven’t slept in days. Dalton’s family and myself spent our days and nights in a small lounge on the burn unit. I claimed the not-so comfortable recliner and it became my bed for many nights. I had finally fallen asleep and was at peace when we were awoken by Dalton’s nurse. He had the horrible task of telling us that surgery for the morning would be cancelled. Dalton was not stable enough to take to the OR so they were pushing back his first surgery. That was it. That was all I needed to hear to completely lose it all. The pain was there and overwhelming. My heart ached and the tears poured. I had to be alone.
I found the first spot I could find outside the waiting room and collapsed. I sat on the cold, hard hallway floor for a long time. I finally let out all of the emotions I had held together. I had never felt so much pain in my life. I didn’t know what to do. So I began to talk to God and the first thing out of my mouth was: Why?
Why? Why? Why?
I could not understand why we had to go through all of this pain and agony. I kept thinking “God has a reason for everything.” But what was his reason? When will we see his reasoning? Will it be evident? Everything I asked myself led back to the same question: Why? As I sat on the floor and soothed myself back to sanity, I began to find hope in my talk with God. I knew that Dalton just underwent one of the worst possible injuries possible. I knew that he could give up the fight at any time. But, I knew this wasn’t Dalton’s time to go.
There was no day that was easier than the next. Every day withheld a challenge of its’ own. Days turned to weeks which turned to months. Surgeries went by and milestones were reached. Infections came and went. Tears were cried and dried. Dalton began to slowly get better with every day that passed. But, the emotional roller coaster was not yet over.
I reached a point in my pregnancy to where it was considered unsafe to travel far from our birthing hospital. My last visit with Dalton before our baby arrived was one I will never forget. Despite everything Dalton went through on a daily basis, the moment I walked into his room, he would smile from ear to ear. The same smile that melted my heart the first night I met him. We discussed the traveling situation and it created many tears for the both of us. However, we knew that it had to be done. Dalton never failed at making me feel loved and appreciated. He always showed his admiration for me and expressed to me how proud he was. Before I left, he told that myself and the baby were all that he thought about and that we saved his life. We are why he is living. Although, I know he has other purposes in life, this brought heaps of tears to my eyes. I love that man.
Going through labor and birth is hard enough for a woman but doing it without their significant other, there are very few things that are more challenging. I pulled myself together and with the help of my mom, I delivered our healthy baby girl. Reese Lynn Brownfield entered the world on December 31st, 2015 at 3:22 am. She weighed 6 lbs 10 ozs, measured 19 inches long and looked just like her dad. It is true, there is no way to explain the feeling you get the first time you see your child. For me, I was ecstatic but on the other hand, heartbroken. Dalton should have been by my side to experience OUR magical moment. But, he would have his chance to hold our sweet baby girl and that is all that mattered. Reese was able to meet her dad a few days after her birth and let me tell you, what a site that was. Thinking back to September, I questioned whether or not he would ever be able to hold her. But, there was our beautiful baby, lying peacefully in her daddy’s arms. Right where she belonged.
Dalton was released from the hospital 3 weeks after Reese’s birth. Since his release, our lives slowly started to form into a new normal for us. It was an adjustment not having life back to the way it was pre-accident but that is just a part of this journey. Dalton has adjusted well to being out of the hospital and enjoys spending as much time as he can with Reese and I. We love family time!
One of the many things things I am grateful for in life is my relationship with Dalton. We always have had such a strong, loving and committed relationship. This accident has pulled its challenges over us but we have conquered them together. In March, Dalton and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary. It was one of the most meaningful and memorable ones yet.
Just recently, before writing this story, I thought back to everything I mentioned above. I was amazed by Dalton’s journey. He is truly my hero. I have grown and developed emotionally so much in these past months. I have truly become a stronger person. I am so proud of myself for how I handled and continue to handle this adventurous journey. I have deepened my relationship with God, I have pushed myself harder than I ever have and I believed. I am one semester away from my degree and could not be any happier with where I am at in life. Thank you to all of the support and prayers that Dalton and I have received throughout this journey. Dalton’s strength and the many prayers answered by God is why I am able to continue life with my best friend. So thank you. And, thank you to all who have taken the time to read this. God bless.