On Monday evening, June 1, about 11:30 PM Jeff and Monica heard a noise and then the power went out. Monica then saw a glowing orange ball in the front yard and found Jeff was engaged somehow (we don’t know how) and holding onto a downed over head power line. He was also in flames. Monica grabbed a broom with a wooden handle and because the line was so heavy was not able to lift it off of him. A good friend and neighbor, Ian, had the additional strength to help lift the cable off Jeff. We will be eternally grateful to this young man who put his own life at risk to save Jeff.
Luckily they had just purchased fire blankets so they threw one on him, Jude, Monicas son, called 911 and they took him to the burn center at Parkland Hospital, part of the UT (University of Texas) southwestern campus. He was admitted and found to have burns over about 40% of his body. Unfortunately the most serious burns are on his hands and arms. His back was also burned and some of his side. The first priority was keeping him alive and releasing some of the pressure from the swelling on his arms. They took him into surgery, made numerous small incisions on the arms, then put him on a ventilator so they could push fluids through his system. The fluids are important and often an electrocution victim has damage to the kidneys, the ventilator was to protect his lungs from an overload of fluids. He has been heavily sedated to this point. On Thursday, June 4, they did the first of many surgeries to come, with excising the burn area from his back and doing skin grafts.
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