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This site is in memory of our beloved Brittany Ann Burns -Feb 14, 1997 - Feb 5, 2007- was a wonderful and beautiful 8 year old child when she was severely injured in a car crash along with her brother Cameron, and their mother Elisabeth Lane, on August 26, 2005.
She passed away nearly 7 years ago already, just days before her 10th birthday, but we'll NEVER forget her... or her amazing capacity to love and be loved. She changed our lives for the better, beginning with her birth, and ongoing still, since her death...
Read more about her life in the Journal, and please consider adding to the Guestbook, perhaps about how she touched your life, how you came into her life, or anything else. After all, her story is OUR story too! And thank you, one and all; especially all the wonderful people who helped her, and her family, to cope with her life after the accident, and most of all, after her death.
Mom Elisabeth and Brittany both required extensive surgery to deal with their injuries, and Brittany was completely paralyzed from the neck down - ASIA A, (virtual) C2 Complete, and dependent on a ventilator to breathe for her.
Brittany spent months in Intensive Care at University Hospital in Syracuse, NY, building up her strength and preparing for the next phase of her recovery. Let me add that the professionals and volunteers who assisted in saving her life, both at the accident scene and at the hospitals, were the most amazing, dedicated, and wonderful persons I'll ever know about, IMHO.
The things they did for her and with her amounted to miracles, especially the actions of the Doctor and Nurse who first assisted at the scene, the help of the First Responders who got them all out and transported them, the medics who kept her alive, and the superb efforts of the UH ER and ICU staff who kept her alive and sustained her until she was ready for her next step - we'll always be most grateful and humbled by all that you did, each and every one of you! I wish I could list all of you by name, but that's impossible, I know, and yet, we owe you nearly two years of her life that we wouldn't have had without your efforts and selfless giving.
God bless all of you...
Finally, after Thanksgiving she was taken to Blythedale Children's Hospital near NYC, where she learned how to deal with her situation, attended school, and prepared to come home. The staff and volunteers there were unbelievably helpful and caring, and did such a great job with her that she was fully prepared to go home when she finally did, and again, I wish so much that I could name and thank every one of you, as well as Britt's ward-mates and their families, Rob Thomas, and probably most especially Britt's cousin Suzanne, who was (and is) a rock that kept us all on track when we needed it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone at NYC - you gave us her life back, and we'll never, ever forget you!
During that time, we obtained and remodeled a house for her and her family - thanks to the unbelievable generosity of many people from Baldwinsville, all of CNY, and all over the country - most especially during a fundraiser in B'ville that showed just how amazing and generous you all are - a very humbling and uplifting experience. I, for one, will always be grateful for all of you, and again, I wish I could thank each and every one of you by name!
What isn't often mentioned is that during that year, her father John Burns, passed away suddenly, as well as her Aunt and Uncle. Through it all, she kept her courage up, determined to continue her therapy and make it home to be with her family. It was a very difficult time for all of us, and yet it was her determination and outlook that kept us going.
Finally, she came home in October 2006, and settled in to a new routine - including attending school, the mall, even meals in restaurants. She celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year 2007 at home with her family, and even went Trick or Treating on Halloween, among other things.
This site is dedicated to her, her fight for survival, her amazing spirit, and will to live, and how she finally passed away Feb 5, 2007, just days before her 10th birthday (which would have been on Valentine's Day, 2007).
Be sure to read her story in the Journal, view the Photo Gallery, and drop us a line in the Guestbook. And please, help us support her surviving family with your prayers and well wishes.
Once again, I'm writing through tears - even after all this time. Amazing that pain can feel so fresh, yet so much time has passed! I admit I've stayed away from here because it's painful to revisit all of this, and because I miss Brittany so much, and yet I think of her every day, along with Elisabeth and Cameron, who each carry a heavier burden than I...
I haven't been to the cemetery, for the same reason, in quite a while, but I think Britt would say it's okay, she understands. I set up a stone here at the house in her memory, a granite block with a smooth top, which I hope to carve with her name and dates someday. It's my reminder, something I see nearly every time I go in and out of the house, something I need to see every time, something to hold on to - not her, but my memories of her. I haven't really buried her, I admit, I carry her everywhere I go, in those memories.
Recently a very wise and caring friend wrote something I'll never let go of: "Some broken hearts just stay broken, like a piece of china, and you glue the pieces back together but cracks in the glass remain to remind us, it will never be the same." And oddly enough, a line from a favorite show struck me the same way: "We never bury the dead, not really. We take them with us. It's the price of living."
Brittany, here's to you, dancing again in heaven with your Daddy, who you loved, and watching over us, I know. I just know. All my love, Sweetheart, and I promise to bring flowers to your grave, when my heart mends a little more and I can do it without breaking... I'll always miss you, always and every day, but I'll never forget how you showed all of us what it means to be truly human, caring, and loving. Love you - mean it! Grampa John