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.
This is the "in-between" time. Between the 5th and the 14th, I mean.
Yeah, THAT time.
It's still hard. So hard that I blotted the 5th out this year, even convinced myself it was another date that she died. Ignored the 5th completely.
But the reminders are all around me - pictures, my computer, things she gave me, the Memory Stone I set up outside.
It's still raw and hurts; but it's also healing, slowly, because she was a beacon of light and love, and I don't say that lightly. I have never met or known anyone who personified love and guts the way she did, even at her tender age.
May we all carry that for the rest of our own lives, even if everything else fades away - because the ones we love are the ones who matter most. Love and guts. That's what REALLY makes us human, and the world would be a lot better place if more of us lived by that.
God bless you, Britt, Sweetheart. You taught me the biggest and best lessons of my life, and I'll live by them for the rest of it. Miss you... Grampa John