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Brittany’s Story

This site is in memory of our beloved Brittany Ann Burns -Feb 14, 1997 - Feb 5, 2007

Brittany 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 just days before her 10th birthday in 2007, 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, 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 stabilized 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, because we owe you nearly two years of her life that we wouldn't have had without your amazing efforts and selfless giving. God bless every one of you...

Finally, after Thanksgiving she was taken to Blythedale Children's Hospital near NYC, where she learned how to deal with her paralysis, 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 - 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, 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 Di and Uncle Butch - all within a couple of months. 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, visiting the mall, even meals in restaurants. She went Trick or Treating on Halloween, then celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year 2007 at home with her family, 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.

Again, thank you to everyone who contributed in any way, big or small, or was touched by her life - family, friends, and strangers alike. YOU made it possible for her, and YOU made it possible for us, during that most difficult, and yet blessed and wonderful, time that we had left with her. God bless you all...
Grampa John

Latest Journal Update

Thank you, everyone...

Today I was looking at the little lock of Brittany's hair that Don helped me save when Britt died. That little lock of hair. NOT all I have left of her - I have so many things that I can touch, like one of the bands that kept her ventilator tube in place on her throat, or the soda bottle covered in stickers that she made for me, or the simple drawing she did for a birthday, or even her voice (along with Cameron) preserved in the memory ball I gave my Mom. Any one of these things can still bring me to tears, but that's not all - they also make my heart swell with feelings, with memories, with love, and with that special thing she gave us all... that serene glow she always had, inside and out. Like an angel.

I won't go on, this is just another of those days that I think of her, in sadness and gladness, whether it's in here with my mementos, or outside weeding the little spot I set up in her memory. I hope all of you remember her the same way - yes, it was tragic, but in so many ways her life gave each of us something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, and changed us all for the better.

I just hope I can live up to your "standards", Sweetheart, because you set the bar very, very high, for goodness, and inner beauty and peace. Know that you are always with me, in my heart and mind, and always will be. I love you...
Grampa John