Doris Peeler-Brown is my fantastic mother-in-law. She is a God-fearing saint, mother, sister, friend, mentor, educator, activist, and motivator. If your life path has crossed with hers, then you already know how kind her spirit is and the guidance and love she provides for all.
Unfortunately, my mother-in-law has suffered a horrible accident. On February 6th, while visiting her niece in Phoenix, she was preparing dinner and a pan filled with grease caught on fire. In an attempt to prevent damage to her niece’s home, she tried to move the pan out of the house. As she moved toward the door, the wind blew the flames catching her clothes, and her on fire. It also caused her to jump splashing herself with the hot grease.
Doris was transported to the Arizona Burn Center. God is always watching and protecting his Saints and as unfortunate as the accident was, the Arizona Burn Center is the second largest burn center in North America so if it had to happen somewhere, she was in the best place for that to have happened.
Mom suffered 1st thru 4th degree burns over 20% of her body including her head, arms, face and torso. Malika, Doris’ daughter and my wife headed to Phoenix.
Doris was an outstanding patient and amazed the Burn Center staff with her healing but especially with her bravery, perseverance and most of all her positive attitude and faith. Throughout her ordeal, she remained prayerful and when the staff would come in to ask about her, she would turn it around and ask about THEM. She never failed to say ‘thank you’ to the staff even when their daily tasks caused her more pain than she’d ever experienced in life.
Recovery from burn injuries is a slow and excruciatingly painful process: Surgeries to remove dead or dying tissue; Daily showers and dressing changes (despite the pain it causes) to prevent infection; skin grafts, physical and occupational therapy during it all to prevent long-term damage to muscles and help ensure she can return to the same quality of life she had before her injuries. Mom has said on numerous occasions that being burned was, by far, THE most painful thing she has ever had to endure.
After a month at the burn center, several surgeries later, Doris was ready to continue her treatment at a skilled nursing facility. She is by no means ‘healed’, or even released from care by the burn center, but rather at a point where the infection risk that exists in hospitals was greater than the risk to move her elsewhere to continue wound care and rehab. She will have weekly follow up visits to monitor her progress until she’s ready to go home. Home isn’t even the end as she could be several years before all forms of treatment are truly behind her.
The road to recovery and healing can be a lonely journey, but we stay positive with Doris and remind her that today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today. I’ve heard through Malika about many of her prayer warriors reaching out to show their concern and constant prayers for Doris’ recovery.
Although, Doris has come far on this journey of recovery she still has a long way to go and already the costs are adding up. Despite having insurance, she is out of her home area with no Kaiser in Arizona so some things are either not covered or not covered in their entirety. On the horizon are other potential medical expenses, transportation back to the bay area for mom and (home for my wife), possible future surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation tools, and supplies, wound care, specialty garments and a host of other things I am barely wrapping my head around. Malika has taken FMLA (family medical leave act) which guarantees her job, which is a blessing, but doesn’t cover her regular salary.
Angie has had additional cost of daily trips to/from the hospital and missed days and hours at her job. My wife, Malika, has been by her mother’s side nonstop. Getting there by Lyft or by bus when Angie was unable to transport her, making or getting food her mom is more likely to eat to keep her strength up. The daily living expenses, rental car, and even décor to make her room at the facility feel warmer while recovering all to help Mom get back to life as she knew it before the accident.
This injury was an unfortunate case of good intentions gone wrong. In trying to prevent a terrible accident for someone she loves, she quite literally took the heat instead. That speaks so much to the person she truly is. She is such a kind, compassionate, faith-filled, driven, inspiring, wonderful, woman who touches lives and helps people daily. She is always thinking of others and how she can help them, even at her worse. My wife shared a story of how my mother-in-law fresh out of surgery, in the recovery room barely conscious, hears another patient who was also in the room recovering from her own surgery, wailing sorrowfully and mom mutters “Aw, what’s the matter with the baby? Bring her to me, I’ll watch her!” In addition, during [this same] recovery, the nurse calls her name and asks her how she’s feeling to gauge her consciousness (after hearing her speak) and the first thing she says was “I feel all the prayers…and they’re working!” Again, this is who she truly is.
Please help offset some of the cost of care and donate what you can, IF you can. If you can’t, please continue to lift her in prayer to be home and back to herself as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your caring and concern for Doris.
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