A 19-year-old Trail man says he has only grown since a burn accident knocked him off his feet three years ago.
Trevor Carmichael has nearly raised his $3,000 goal for the Burn Fund Centre, set to break ground in the Lower Mainland this spring.
“I am fundraising for this amazing cause because my experience with being burned would have been a little bit easier to endure in this new centre,” he said. “My siblings could have been there with me, there would be other burn survivors there to connect with, it would have been better in every aspect.”
The new centre will include eight fully furnished accessible accommodation suites for patients and families while undergoing treatment at Vancouver General Hospital or BC Children’s Hospital.
Carmichael remembers all too well the burn ward in Children’s. Though the space was small, he said he was treated well.
On June 28, 2010, him and his friends were starting a bonfire but when the fire wouldn’t ignite, one ofhis buddies grabbed a small can of gas and was pouring it slowly over the pit when it caught on fire, his friend threw it and it landed in Carmichael’s lap.
“I was rushed to the Trail hospital, where they worked on me all night,” he said. “The next morning I was flown by air ambulance to Children’s Hospital, where my mom and I stayed for 33 days.”
Carmichael had major skin grafting surgery shortly after and was unable to move for the next two weeks. Slowly through physio he learned to walk again and got home soon, but recovery time shifted when he had to fight off infections.
“This whole experience has changed my life in a positive way,” he said. “It was torturous that it happened and I will have lifetime scars but I feel that I am more appreciative of other people’s hardships.
“And I take all of life’s offerings in with a different perspective and enjoy every moment to the fullest.”
Carmichael now owns his own home, works full time at Porcupine Wood Products and is a reservist with the 39 Combat Engineer Regiment in Trail.
Though he’s fundraising alone, there arc others who share his passion for the best place for a burn and trauma survivor to recover.
Trail Firefighters Local 941 is dedicated to financially supporting the final push for the centre and also gives to the broader scope with $53,000 directly to the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund in the past five years.
The new centre will help to relieve some of the financial burden a family from outside the Lower Mainland would endure if a loved one had to be hospitalized there, explained Trail firefighter David Como.
“We see how this will benefit the people of our community in the future and are committed to doing whatever we can to raise funds,” he said.
Crafters who participated in the recent Mistletoe Market selected the burn fund as its charity this year, raising nearly $2,350 for the cause.
“It’s a great cause and obviously pretty near and dear to all of our hearts,” added Como.
To top up Carmicahel’s cause visit http://burnfund.donorpages.com/BldgPerFund/TrevorCarmichael