When a little girl from the Central Coast was burned in a camping accident, it was the care she received at the Leon S. Peters Burn Center that helped her get back to being a five-year old. The staff not only physically cared for her, but they gave her a comfort animal – a fuzzy bear she cuddled for emotional support through that difficult time.
Thanks to Bubba the Bear, Braylee Harradence didn’t feel so alone when it came to treating her burn injuries because Bubba the Bear went through the same treatments she did.
“He came from my doctors and he has the same boo boos that I have,” said Braylee.
Braylee’s mother Christin brings us back to the day Braylee was hurt near their home on the Central Coast.
Christin recalled, “I was on a girls trip, an unfortunate accident happened and my little girl fell into the camp fire ring… She got burned on the back of both of her legs, pretty much every fingertip on the right hand, probably a little further down, and then the entire palm was a complete blister by the time we came here.”
Christin said her daughter was rushed to a hospital nearby but she felt her daughter needed more specialized care for her burns than they could offer. But they were not satisfied with the care.
“They realized early on that they needed access to proper burn care, and they wanted the best care for their daughter,” stated registered nurse Shana Henry.
Shana is the burn injury prevention specialist in the Burn Center at Community Regional. She said the Harradence Family decided to make the three hour commute to Fresno so Braylee could be treated at the Burn Center.
Shana said, “We’re a verified burn center and what that means is that we have the ability to carry out the continuity of care that people need for burns, and a lot of times in neighboring areas because we do cover from L.A. to Sacramento, people for example on the Central Coast, do not have access to services.”
Braylee’s deep second degree burns were painful and dressing changes were not easy.
“Because it’s scary and hurts,” Braylee softly shared.
Shana explained, “She had a lot of anxiety and she had been essentially traumatized from her other hospital experiences, and so our team came together between our child life specialists, our nurses, our MD’s our nurse practitioners, and we really developed a unique plan of how to help Braylee and her parents cope with the injury.”
Community Regional’s burn team takes a holistic approach to treatment, not only focusing on the physical healing, but also on their emotional well-being. When Bubba and his storybook were introduced to Braylee, she found they had a lot in common.
Christin said, “And the book was about how the bear fell into the campfire, and my daughter was like how did they know? And then he came with all the same bandages and that was just, for something so tragic she was able to relate and as she got better the bear got better, now she doesn’t have bandages, the bear doesn’t have bandages.”
Whenever Braylee got a new dressing, so did Bubba.
“So what we found is that comfort animal was really something she connected with, she found it to be, put her at ease at least, and then mom too found it as a tool that they could use at home for comfort,” said Shana.
Braylee loved Bubba so much, she decided to dress up like Bubba for halloween. A touching tribute to the bear who helped her get through her burn. Christin said the staff at the Burn Center went above and beyond to take care of her daughter, not only physically, but emotionally as well.
“Community Regional Medical Center was family… I felt so at home just being able to let them just help her, or help me help her,” ended Christin.
If you would like to support the healing work being done at the Leon S. Peters Burn Center, click here.