Dan's Burn Recovery Return Tour

Dan Cauffiel was severely burned in an accidental fire that erupted during an auto racing pit stop in Baja Mexico in November 2012. Dan loves off-road racing and has helped many race teams over the years always enjoying the camaraderie and friendship found in the desert racing community. However a flash fuel fire erupted while Dan was changing a tire on a race car and he was severely burned on both legs, both arms, his back and his head. Dan is not one to ask for help. However he has had no income since the accident in November 2012 and his pickup was burned to the ground in the fire along with some cash he had for an extended trip to Mexico for Thanksgiving. He has survived a very long hospital stay, several surgeries and significant physical therapy and while he had medical insurance the hospital and doctor bills have far exceeded his coverage. We are truly grateful for whatever assistance you can lend to help Dan recover from these medical and financial losses and to help him meet his goal to attend the Baja 500 race in June of 2014. For Dan, going to this race is a symbol that he will have surmounted the steep road to recovery and he will be on as Dan puts it his "Return Tour"!

Here is the description of Dan's plight immediately following the accident. He was quickly taken to a hospital in Loreto, BCS Mexico where the doctor did a fantastic job getting Dan stabilized and his burns prepped to maximize the recovery capability. From there Dan was air lifted to the UC San Diego Burn Center where their incredible burn trauma team went to work on Dan. Due to the extent and severity of his burns the decision was made to place Dan into a medically induced coma to help him cope with the pain and to keep him immobilized to optimize potential healing following the surgeries to repair the burns. He remained in this coma from November 20th through January 21st - over 2 full months.

When Dan was brought out of the coma he still had a long way to go. After being immobilized (or as Dan called it "mummified") for that long of a period of time the medical staff let Dan know that his elbows and the soft tissue in his arms had calcified (HO "“ Heterotopic Ossification) effectively locking both his elbows in a 90 degree angle. In fact at that time the doctors said that Dan may not regain the normal use of his elbows and as a result may not be able to even feed himself going forward. Dan took that as a personal challenge to prove the medical staff wrong and with God's help would channel that energy into his rehab and recovery.

Fast forward to now "“ April 2013, and after 2 more surgeries to free up the bone calcification in both elbows by the grace of God Dan has nearly normal range of motion in his left elbow and reasonable range of motion in his right and is expecting more freedom of movement as he continues physical therapy. The scarring has been kept to a relative minimum, with the most notable remaining on his left arm and the back of his left leg. Dan jokes that his face looks better now than it did before the accident with no scarring and thanks to the fire a "light peel" to remove the blemishes.

Even given the challenges that Dan has been through he feels that he is a lucky man. God blessed Dan with incredible physicians, nurses and surgeons who have given Dan a second lease on life. Even given the severity of his situation, Dan feels things could have been much worse and in fact believes that God performed many miracles within the accident keeping Dan alive. His positive, enthusiastic and unstoppable attitude has even impressed his San Diego medical staff to the point that they have asked Dan to help counsel and encourage other burn victims to complete their often painful physical therapy sessions. Dan continues to work hard in his rehab sessions. His motivation is "for every minute of pain & therapy he is 1 day closer to getting back to racing".

Again, we want to say thanks in advance for whatever donation and prayers you can send along to Dan to help him get back on his feet both financially and physically. Please share Dan's story to help him complete his "return tour" to desert racing. Thanks and may God Bless you and your loved ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjEvDU6j48g = 14:20 duration. CAUTION: some strong language in the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4PMx5Ew3xg = 1:55 duration. Dan's white pickup seen fully engulfed

Photo of Dan in U.C. San Diego Burn Center in Dec 2012

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Scott Booth 
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