By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS
Callie Rae Frost, age 3, made it home from the hospital in time for Christmas last year – but only by a scant three days.
Her weeks leading up to last year’s big holiday were spent in Galveston’s Shriner’s Hospital burn unit after a household accident on Dec. 6.
Grandmother Vicki Frost explained what happened when the tot was watching her mom fry sopapillas in hot oil inside their home in Flora Vista near Farmington.
“Callie Rae tried to hand her mother a plastic grocery bag,” said Tucumcari’s Vicki Frost. “The handle of the skillet got caught in the bag and the skillet turned over on Callie Rae.”
Nearly a year later, mom Bobbi Frost said her daughter talks about the incident matter-of-factly.
“She’s doing so good,” her mother said, adding when people ask, her daughter simply tells them she was burned in an accident. “She doesn’t consider herself different from other children. Considering what happened, Callie is doing really well.”
Her brother, 5-year-old J.D. Frost, is equally at ease with his sister’s accident, their mother said. “He just says, ‘Callie’s got owies.’”
Bobbi Frost said they have been back and forth to Shriner’s in Galveston since last December and doctors were hopeful from her treatment’s start there would be no permanent disfigurement.
“Her hair has not grown back yet,” Bobbi Frost said, “but it probably won’t.” She went on to explain a tissue expander, a balloon that is stretched beneath the skin to expand the scalp area that is growing hair over the part that is not.
That procedure would mark the little girl’s second operation, her mother said. The first was a skin graft in June.
“It was really an eye-opener,” Bobbi Frost said of seeing other burn victims in the Texas hospital. “So many kids were worse than her. A lot of kids that don’t even have noses or their ears and hands were burnt off.”
Although Bobbi Frost said the accident left a shroud on last year’s holiday season – they had no shopping done and had to scramble to put up their tree – they were grateful for the treatment they received while in Texas.
“We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House,” Bobbi Frost said. “We went there with two bags and we came home with nine bags,” Bobbi Frost said of all the gifts her daughter and the family received.
“The year anniversary’s kind of scary,” she said, “but we’re glad to be staying home for the holidays – we can even get all our Christmas shopping done.”