Playing with colorful beads while sitting in a bed at Holtz Children’s Hospital is Julia. She is just minutes away from being discharged after an extensive hospital stay. Judging from her big smile and bold personality, no one could have guessed that the beautiful 8-year-old and her family are still struggling to regain a sense of normalcy in their life after a car accident on February 9th, which caused her to suffer third-degree burns to nine percent of her body.
The accident, which occurred in West Palm Beach where the family resides, was caused by a fugitive of the law going over 90 miles an hour. “My car flipped and Julia ended up under the exhaust pipe,” recalled Mary K., Julia’s mom, with tears in her eyes. “There is no pediatric burn unit in West Palm Beach, so as soon as we arrived at the hospital the medical staff arranged for her to be airlifted here to Holtz.”
During the hospital stay, which has been the first for Julia in her entire life, doctors at Holtz Children’s have performed a total of 14 procedures including a skin graft. In the last couple of weeks, as her wounds healed, Julia has been able to participate on several Flo Fridays, a celebration of life organized by the Child Life Department where Holtz Children’s patients, parents and staff dance the afternoon away to the tunes of our first celebrity ambassador, the international superstar, Flo Rida.
Being discharged from the hospital, 33 days later, is a big step towards regaining normalcy and Julia herself really wanted to make it a memorable experience by sharing her story with us as a part of the #LetYourHeartFlo challenge.