CMN Miracle Story: A Hide and Seek Emergency

“It’s the things that happen with children in a split second. And no matter how hard you try to be a perfect parent, things are gonna happen.” -Dr. John Griswold, burn surgeon, UMC Children’s Hospital
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In Edgewood, New Mexico, it was a normal day for the Winters family.  The kids were inside playing hide and seek.

When mom, Jessica, left the laundry room, 4-year-old Braydon thought of the perfect place to hide.

He used the dryer to climb up and then slip down into the washer.

But the lid dropped and automatically locked.

When his little brother tried to get him out of the washing machine, he accidentally started the hot water.

Braydon was trapped inside the washer until Jessica heard the commotion from the next room and ran to pull him out.

Dr. Griswold says even in that brief time, Braydon was severely burned. He explains “About two thirds of his body and almost all of it was third degree.”

Third degree burns are the most severe.

Dr. Griswold says,  “Third degree goes all the way down below the skin to the fatty tissue. And that means the body can’t heal it itself. And we have to do operations to get it to heal.”

Braydon had 20 operations in his first 3 months at UMC Children’s Hospital.

But why come to Lubbock since he lived 5 hours away?

Jessica says, “The closest hospital we’re to is in Albuquerque, which is about 30 minutes, but they don’t necessarily deal with the kind of extent of burns and, like, surgeries.”  Jessica and her husband, Patrick, decided to immediately airlift Braydon to Lubbock because UMC Children’s Hospital includes the highest level burn center in a region that covers more than 200 thousand square miles. 

She says, “We were there for about four months starting out. He was in the ICU. Lot of skin grafts for surgeries.”

And a lot of time for little brother, Jace, to pull Braydon around the hospital in a little red wagon.

It was hard getting back on his own feet, but today, Braydon is healing well. He even attended Camp Amistad this summer, a burn camp funded by CMN dollars so that kids like Braydon can meet other kids going through the same healing process.

He may need more surgeries down the road, but already, Braydon Winters is considered one of the CMN Super Heroes.  Dr. Griswold agrees that it is truly a miracle that he is alive today since young children have thin skin and their burns are more severe.

“In a child of his age,” he says, “10 percent of your body surface area, one tenth, can have a life-ending result. And he had almost a 60 percent burn. So six times that!”

Jessica says, “We came here to Lubbock and will always come here for his care. They were great.”