Burn survivor Autumn Hamilton

$150,702 of $250,000 goal

Raised by 1,929 people in 11 months
Created April 29, 2018
Autumn Hamilton, 16 years old, of Lombard, IL, was an unfortunate burn victim in the Glendale Heights bonfire accident on April 28, 2018.


Autumn is currently at Loyola Medical Center Burn Unit on life support. She sustained 3rd degree burns to the majority of her body, especially to her face. Doctors have her in a medically induced coma. She has undergone multiple surgeries so far to relieve pressure in her face and arms. 

Autumn has has a long road ahead of her! She will require countless surgeries, facial reconstruction, therapy, rehabilitation, etc.

Please help support her and her family so she can get the treatment she desperately needs. 29519610_15250508460_r.jpeg
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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Journal entry by Dahlia OConnor — 12 minutes ago

Good evening Autumn Strong supporters,

We are happy to report the progress of OT and PT, Autumn was able to cut back to three times a week. We will also be having a meeting with Glenbard East soon, hoping that Autumn can go back to school in early April, three times a week for three hours a day.

It has been 5 weeks since Autumn has started the injections for her tissue expansion on her head. Today we found out that there was an infection at the site of the expander. Unfortunately the expander had to be taken out due to the infection. We were informed that the area of the skin is very thin and fragile. This could have led to something getting into the incision, which could have led to the infection. We were also informed that the cause of the infection was nothing that we could have prevented, it is just something that can happen with this type of procedure. After the expander was taken out we found out that Dr. Vandevender was able to connect some of the healthy tissue. We are hoping to do the tissue expansion again in six months. Autumn will be recovering for the next week, then her stitches will be removed and she can start wearing her compression mask again. Autumn's right hand and pinky are healing well. Dr. Agnew will start putting Hyalomatrix on her pinky to promote healing to the skin surrounding the pinky.

All of the doctors at Loyola and Shriner's are very pleased with the progress in Autumn's recovery. Autumn and Jackie are still planning to go back to Shriner's in May.

We want to extend a huge thank you to all of the Autumn Strong supporters for all of the donations to the Ronald McDonald house in honor of Logan Sepe.

Love and Blessings, Aunt Kelle

"It didn't matter that she fell apart, it was how she put herself back together." -Atticus
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Home Sweet Home
Journal entry by Dahlia OConnor — 1 hour ago

After two cancelled flights, a change of planes in Nashville, and one wind storm our Survior finally made it home late Thursday night. Autumn couldn't wait to spend time with friends and family.

On Tuesday, February 5th, Autumn saw Dr. Norbury and he was very pleased with the tissues expansion. Autumn had the staples removed from her head and now she will get the expansion filled by Dr. Vandevender at Loyola Hospital for the next 13 weeks.
Then, she will head back to Shriners in May for the operation to cut the stretch skin and connect the skin on her head.
Therefore, she will not be able to wear her compression mask during this time.
Dr. Norbury said lots of massage for her face to try and keep her skin as smooth as possible for this time. Autumns mouth release is healing very well, she will continue with speech therapy and has lots of exercises to do at home to keep the skin around her mouth flexible.
Autumn's right palm (skin graph due to release) and right pinky got an infection, with antibiotics, they are healing well. The swelling in her fingers is going down and she will have a hand split to help keep her fingers as straight as possible with some occupancy therapy.

Tomorrow Autumn goes right back to 6 hours of therapy and school work. She is so thankful for her friends and family that are loving her and sticking by her side. We are also so thankful for the love that friends and family pour out on David and Brooke, when Jackie and Autumn are gone.

Also, this Saturday, Davids friend, Mackie C, is putting together a Fundraiser for Autumn at
Skores Sports Bar & Grill.
6764 West Forest Preserve Ave, Harwood Heights.
From 6pm - 2am
Kid friendly from 6pm-10pm.
We would love to see all of the Autumns Strong supporters there.

Love and blessing, Aunt Kelle

"She Made Broken look Beautiful and Strong look Invincible. She Walked with the Universe on her shoulders & made it look like a pair of wings." ........ unknown
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And.....Surgery #17 is in The Books
Journal entry by Dahlia OConnor — 3 hours ago

Today at 12:30pm, Autumn went in for about a 2 hour surgery to remove the pins from her fingers. Autumn is doing well and is back at the condo resting.
Flashback a week to when Autumn saw the Doctor on Wednesday the 16th, he was super happy with the results of her fingers from Surgery #16 and he couldn't believe how awesome her tendons moved in her fingers. She should have full movement of fingers 1 & 2. Finger number 3 will take some extra PT.
Unfortunately, we learned yesterday that her pinky finger didn't do so well and Dr. Norbury had to remove a little bit more of her pinky today. He is still confident that it will be longer then when she went in, because it was fully bent in half. Tomorrow she will start about an hour of PT daily to work on her fingers and hand. Dr. Norbury did say her nerves in her fingers will have pain for a good year or so. Lots of prayers for her hand!
They also worked long on Autumns mouth last week, and it looks wonderful, they released the skin around her mouth and took the tissue from inside her mouth to give her an upper lip and lower lip. We, the doctors, and staff are very please with the results already and it can only get better. Speech Therapy will start up next week, giving the mouth one more week to heal.

Dr. Norbury will see Autumn on Tuesday, January 22nd and then February 5th, he wants to see a full 2 weeks of her tissue expansion on her head before he sends her home.
She will return in May to Shriners to remove the tissue expansion and release fingers 1,2,&3 on her left hand, her pinky is already straight on her left hand so that should be left alone.

Autumn spent last weekend resting and enjoying the company of our Texas family that came and spent time with her and Jackie.

Autumn additonally had an interview yesterday with Katherine Jeschke, the head of donations (remember the white sheets!) to discuss her experience at Shriners and her accident, more to follow.

Love and Blessings, Aunt Kelle

"I know this transformation is painful, but you're not falling apart; you're just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful" William C Hannan
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Times Flies when You're with Your Loved Ones
Journal entry by Dahlia OConnor — Jan 9, 2019

14 weeks have flown by and each moment we got to spend with Autumn has been a special one.

Autumn and Jackie got right back into the swing of things in good old Lombard, with much love and support from friends and family. Autumn spends 6 hours, 3 days a week in occupational, speech, physical, and scar tissue massage therapy.
Autumns other 2 days are spent with completing a 1/2 day at therapy and a few hours doing school work along with tutiors. Autumn has completed English, math and social studies for her 1st semester as a Jr. Autumn is working hard and can't wait to get back to the class of 2020 at Glenbard East High School (once a ram always a ram!).

She continues to work on balances and stanama in PT and can now stand on her tip toes.
We would like to give a special shout out to Autumn's massage therapist, Annie. She has done an amazing job of softening the tissue and helping with some range of motion in Autumn's elbows. Plus, she is always doing extra research to find new ways to make Autumn's recovery better.

From day one Autumn has ventured out with friends and cousins. She enjoys spending as much free time as she can get, hanging with her friends. Autumn got back into the drivers seat with no problems and loves having the independence.

We additionally want to Thank, Tony and Jamie, for the Fun Zanies Comedy fundraiser. Laughter is the best medicine, and they came over before Christmas to drop off gifts for the family. Jackie said "it felt like the real Santa came, because all the gifts were a wonderful surprise".
It has been a true blessing to meet all the people that have reached out to my sweet niece and family.
Another fundraiser is scheduled for February, so stay tuned for more information!

On Sunday the 13th, Jackie and Autumn will make their way back to Shriners in Galveston. On Monday, she will meet with her doctors at Shriners and Tuesday she will have surgery #16 for the tissue expansion on the back of her head. This will be a 10 1/2 week procedure and we are not sure when they will be back in Lombard but will keep everyone posted.
Sweet Grandma Rosa will head out on Tuesday the 15th to support and love Autumn and Jackie.
Please pray for safe travels and for all to go well during surgery.

"Strength in the face of pain or fear" is the definition of courage. Everyday, Autumn walks her life showing everyone what it really means to have strength. #autumnstrong

Love and Blessing, Aunt Kelle
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$150,702 of $250,000 goal

Raised by 1,929 people in 11 months
Created April 29, 2018
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