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My Christmas Story

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This Christmas Eve will be two years since the meaning of Christmas changed for me.

We went to Christmas Eve service at church.  At the end of the service we were the first ones out the service and standing in the fellowship hall.  The minister asked me if I wouldn't mind putting the apple cider that was on the stove into the punch bowl and put on the table.  My wife and I asked another church member to keep an eye on our then 15 month old daughter Hannah while we went into the kitchen.  I poured the cider into the punch bowl and began to carry it to the table.  As I was walking to the table my daughter started walking over towards me, the other church member grabbed her and started to pull her away just as the glass punch bowl shattered from the heat of the cider.  I heard the most god awful scream you could imagine and turned to see my daughter screaming and grabbing at her hands.  I picked her up and ran her to the sink and began running cold water over her hands.  When we rolled up her sleeves the skin from her arms began to peel.  At this point we ran to the car and drove as fast as we could to Newton-Wellesley Hospital.  Once we got to the emergency room we discovered that she had some burns on her head and foot as well as her arm.  The doctors and nurses put cold compresses all over her and decided that she was burned over about 12.5 percent of her body.  At that point they decided to move her to Shriner's Burn Hospital in Boston.  After an ambulance ride we arrived at Shriners where a team of two nurses and a doctor cared for Hannah.  They determined that she had first degree burns on her head and face, second degree burns on her arm and foot, and third degree burns on her arm.  They gave us the option of spending the night or returning home and coming back in the morning.  We decided she would rest better at home and come back in the morning. It was at this point that I realized that nothing else mattered.  Not the presents, not the travel plans, only my family mattered. Christmas morning arrived and Hannah awoke as if nothing had happened.  I am still amazed at how tough my little girl is.  How many times have I complained endlessly about a sunburn?  We returned to Shriners on a daily basis for about a month for dressing changes and wound checks and then the visits went to one a week, once a month, and then every couple of months.  Fortunately the burns healed on their own and no surgery was required.  She does have some scarring on her left arm.  Shriners is an amazing place.  All of their care is absolutely free of charge, they operate solely on donations.

I still getting teary eyed thinking or talking about it to this day.  But I feel truly blessed.  Blessed that someone in church moved her just in time or she would have been showered by the cider.  Blessed that it wasn't much worse.  Blessed to live close to some of the greatest medical care in the world.  Blessed to have such a special little girl.  And blessed that I realized the true meaning of Christmas,  its about family and friends, not stuff.  Count your blessings.  Merry Christmas.

Sorry for the long post.

Jeff

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Good story.Really appreciate you sharing that.

Good to hear your little girl came out good.Makes you love and appreciate them all the more!

God Bless you and your family.

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People think of the Shriners as those guys in the funny hats and little cars, but they have been a blessing to my sister and her family.  I don't know how they could have made it without the Shriners hospitals in Louisville and Tampa.

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Jeff,

I can see God at work all through that.  Your daughter will have a tremendous testimony that many little girls won't have until later in life.  God bless you for sharing that with us!!  I'll sure hold my daughter tighter tonight as a result.  

Merry Christmas to you and yours, too!

-Fisher

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