On Sunday morning December 17, 2017, 14 year old Wyatt Taylor was on his ATV heading to a remote pasture to feed his family's horses. Traveling on the side of the road, the ATV hit an unseen rock causing him to lose control of the steering. The ATV rolled over down an embankment, over a barbed wire fence, and into a ditch. Wyatt was thrown from the ATV and ended up pinned underneath it with his face forced against the tire. To make matters worse, during the crash the throttle was pinned into the engaged position resulting in the tire spinning against his face. He tells us that he heard 3 cars drive by him and he realized that he must not be in view of the road and it was up to him to save himself. It is estimated that he may have been there for upwards of 30 minutes fully conscience trying to escape the tire that was tearing at his face and hand causing severe avulsions and full thickness burns from the friction of the tire. Finally the engine died and he was able to claw his way out from under the ATV. He then had to climb out of the ditch, hike up a hill and make his way to the closest house approxitmately 1/4 mile away. It was there that 911 was called and he was eventually air lifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital Trauma Center almost two hours from their home in the Jemez Mountains.
As a result of the accident, Wyatt sustained full thickness burns down to the bone on the right side of his face from the top of his head to his jawline, with major damage to his right eye and the right side of his nose, including full thickness burns to portions of his left hand and arm. Wyatt faces months of recovery and many complicated and unique reconstructive surgeries, and therapies to restore his face, save his vision, and regain the use of his left hand.
Wyatt is such an amazing young man! He always has a smile and a cheerful word for everyone he meets. His heart is as big and beautiful as the mountains he calls home. With a true servant's heart he is happiest serving his community of La Cueva, New Mexico. His father is the Volunteer La Cueva District Fire Chief and his mother is the Volunteer EMS Captain for the Sandoval County Fire Department - La Cueva District. Wyatt has been volunteering to serve his community from the time he could walk. In January of 2017 he became an official Junior Firefighter with the La Cueva Fire District in La Cueva, New Mexico. He recently completed his Wildland Firefighter II training and responded to his first working wildland fire this past November. His dream is to one day be a full-fledge Wildland Firefighter with the United States Forest Service.
Wyatt's mother is taking an extended leave of absence from her job as an EMT with the Albuquerque Ambulance Service (the job that provides the family's insurance) to be with Wyatt and provide for his full time care. This exended leave of absence will place great strain on the family finances. Our hope is to raise enough money to help pay the $1000 a month insurance premium as well as help offset the high impact the many intensive care medical bills and tertiary expenses that come with an extended hospital stay that is nearly 2 hours from their home.