PRAGUE, Okla. – A Prague teenager is fighting for his life after being badly burned from an explosion at a brush fire.
Family members say 14-year-old Dalton Henry has burned brush on his family’s property all his life and knew what he was doing.
Jennifer Appicello, Henry’s cousin, says, “You buy 50 acres of land and there’s trees and there’s brush and there’s trash. And you build a big pit, throw it all in there and catch it on fire and just burn it.”
Sunday, Dalton was helping his older cousin, Michael Rice, burn metal for the scrapyard to earn extra cash.
He had been told several times to leave the gas can alone but Dalton didn’t listen.
Rice says he turned his back for a second and then heard the explosion.
“He knows he’s not allowed to touch the gas,” says Rice. “He knows all that.”
Appicello says, “Just in a split second, a decision and it changed his life.”
Dalton’s face and hands were engulfed in flames.
He’s been diagnosed with fifth and sixth-degree burns over much of his body.
Appicello is a nurse and says she’s never seen anything like it.
“Most people hear third-degree is as bad as it gets,” says Appicello. “Sixth-degree they say is what they usually see in the morgue. People don’t typically survive it. It’s just so catastrophic.”
The closest burn unit who could handle Dalton’s severe burns is out of Dallas and the road to recovery could take years.
Establishing a fundraising website to offset medical costs is about all Dalton’s family here in Oklahoma can do while they wait.
Appicello says, “All we can do is pray and be there for him.”
While Dalton is in a medically-induced coma and undergoing surgeries, his family has received good news.
The burns to his face have been reduced to third and fourth-degree, so he’s making progress.
To help offset medical costs and expenses incurred during their stay in Dallas, the family has established a fundraising website.
Click here for more information.