Family, doctor say injured firefighter making slow progress
DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP
Sep. 01, 2015
SEATTLE (AP) — The firefighter severely injured in a Washington wildfire flare-up that killed three of his comrades is making progress, but he's not out of danger yet.
His doctor and parents said at a news conference on Tuesday in Seattle at Harborview Medical Center that Daniel Lyon is responding well to his treatment. But the 25-year-old is in constant pain from the treatment of burns he suffered over 60 percent of his body on Aug. 19 and infections are a constant worry for burn victims.
"The progress is there and it's measurable, but I'll feel a lot better when he's healed the skin graft and is walking the halls," said Dr. Tom Phan. "I don't want to take anything for granted at this point."
Pham predicted Lyon would spend at least another two months in the hospital healing from skin grafts and training his body to move again. Pham says he expects Lyon to have a full recovery and return to work and life.
Daniel and Barbara Lyon say their son is just starting to regain his sense of humor and really appreciates the messages they read to him from people around the state and the nation.
Daniel Lyon told about the first chip of ice his son was given. The first one shot out of his mouth. After the second chip, he said, "This is absolutely the best ice cube I've ever had in my life," his dad recalled.
"He wanted the recipe," his mom added. The nurse told him it was a secret family recipe.
His parents both seemed relatively upbeat at the news conference but acknowledged that their son is in a lot of pain and could barely communicate. When they read the emails and letters he has received, their son waves his hands to keep them reading, his mother said. She asked that people keep those letters coming.
"He responds that he knows we love him and that we're in the room," Daniel Lyon said.
They said he hasn't been told any details about the Twisp River Fire and hasn't asked for information. The only people who have been allowed to visit are family members and his doctors and nurses.
"I have my good days and my bad days," Barbara Lyon said. "When he's good, I'm good."
Daniel Lyon confirmed that their son was injured during his first summer as a wildland firefighter and that despite the training firefighters receive, as parents, they worried about him constantly.
He's also a reserve police officer, likes motorcycle riding, mountain climbing, kayaking and anything outdoors, his father said.
"Whatever will make mom upset, he does. He's a young man who wants to do it all," Daniel Lyon said.