Putnam County boy who was severely burned is now off ventilator, but faces lengthy recovery

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Four weeks after an accident that left 5-year-old Nathan Scott badly burned, he is no longer on a ventilator, but he still has a long way to go to recover.

News4JAX has been in contact with the boy’s mother, Katie Scott. She has been by his side since he was airlifted from UF Health in Gainesville to Shriner Children’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas. She told News4JAX she broke down in tears when her son first spoke after being taken off a ventilator. She said Nathan still had trouble speaking clearly.

“He tries to speak but his throat is very sore, so he mumbles. He said no several times. He said, mom. He said, dad. I love you,” Nathan’s mother said. She also said she tried not to cry in front of him because she didn’t want to scare him.

scott family (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

Nathan is currently receiving skin through a process called allograft.

“So it’s a cadaver transplant.” It is a donated graft. They haven’t started doing autografts yet,” Nathan’s mother said.

Autograft is the process of using a patient’s own skin for surgical reconstructive procedures. The allograft takes skin and tissue from another person, but it takes longer to incorporate into the recipient’s body.

“When he got here they did cultures and he had some growths from the culture, but they had to clear out some of the infection before they could do an autograft. They want it on very clean, immaculate skin,” said Nathan’s mother, who also said her son will need physical and speech therapy to relearn how to move and speak.

Unfortunately, the doctors had to amputate four of Nathan’s fingers from one hand and all of his fingers from the other. His mother said that before he is released from hospital, she and her husband will need to remodel their home in Hawthorn to help Nathan adjust to his new physical limitations.

Nathan’s injuries are the result of a freak accident on Christmas Eve. He was helping his family clear debris from the yard when a combustion barrel that was used to burn the debris exploded. 65% of his body was badly burned. He was rushed to UF Health in Gainesville and then airlifted to Shriner Children’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas.

Nathan Scott (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

His mother lost her full-time job as a nurse because she had to be with her son in Texas. Her husband and their other children remained in Florida. As the family was forced to depend on Nathan’s father’s income, the Putnam County Fire Department staged a boot drive to raise money for Nathan and his family. Several businesses in Putnam and Alachua counties have also stepped up to help.

“So many places have fundraisers and different events for Nathan. The boot drive left us stunned,” Nathan’s mother said.

Katie Scott said she and her husband are also feeling a little better now that their son is off a ventilator.

“Physically yes. I got very sick from anxiety, depression and fear. I didn’t eat well and I didn’t sleep well. But we have improved. We really rallied to be stronger for Nathan. It’s frightening. We have never experienced anything like this,” Nathan’s mother said.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All Rights Reserved.

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Putnam County boy who was severely burned is now off ventilator, but faces lengthy recovery

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