donate icon DONATE

Shriners Children's Boston Patient Camden Dresses as his Favorite Clinician

Camden is receiving specialized burn care at Shriners Children's Boston.

When Camden arrived for a recent appointment at Shriners Children’s Boston, employees thought they must be seeing double!

Much to their delight, Camden was dressed as Chief of Staff Robert L. Sheridan, M.D. His visit was right around Halloween and Cam wanted to mark the occasion with a holiday costume celebrating one of his favorite clinicians. Scrubs, a white coat and stethoscope completed the look.

Cam was 18 months old when he was burned after accidentally touching the hot engine of a push leaf blower while his family was working at their property. Cam’s parents, Erin and Jeff, knew that his hand needed immediate attention and took him to a local hospital. Clinicians there examined Cam’s injury, determined he would need specialized burn care, and arranged for a transport to Shriners Children’s Boston. When the family arrived, Cam’s care team was waiting in his room. After examining his burn injury, staff members debrided and bandaged the wound. Debriding a burn wound involves removing the damaged tissue, which helps with healing. The next day Cam was fitted for a hand cast and started physical therapy. Cam was in the hospital for three days, and then traveled to Shriners Children’s Boston from his home in Western Massachusetts every other day for about two months.

Now almost 5 and past the initial phase of his recovery, Cam returns to Shriners Children’s Boston for follow up visits every 4-6 months. His care team regularly assesses how well his hand is healing and closely monitors its range of motion. As a child grows, their burn scars do not grow with them and follow-up procedures are sometimes necessary to achieve optimum use. The degree of range of motion that Cam achieves with his injured hand will help determine future treatment.

As Erin reflected on the accident that injured Cam, she noted, “You never think this could be your child, that your baby could be hurt like this. However, there is a light to be seen through this grim event.”

You never think this could be your child, that your baby could be hurt like this. However, there is a light to be seen through this grim event.
Erin, mom of Boston patient Cam

Erin shared that, especially in the first few days after Cam’s injury, talking to other parents of children with burn injuries helped. “I will never forget going to the play area with Cam on the second day and talking to a mother who had been there for three months with her infant.” Erin recalls being struck by the progress the baby had made, as well as the child’s happiness and excitement. “It gave me hope that someday Cam too would be able to use his hands again as he once had,” she said.

The Shriners Children’s Boston child life specialists were very important in making Cam feel comfortable during such a scary time. Erin said that they were particularly impactful when Cam needed a skin graft last year. “I can't imagine having gone through this experience without them,” she added.

Erin also shared how her family’s time at Shriners Children’s Boston has given them hope in ways they were not expecting. “Being at Shriners has given me hope in more ways than just with Camden. It has given me hope for our future society. Watching the children interact with one another, not judging each other, not letting languages be a barrier and immediately accepting each other as friends proved that there is hope for our world,” Erin said.

The family has many favorite moments at Shriners Children's, including attending celebrations around the holidays and participating in pet therapy. And of course, Cam has loved the Halloween celebrations.

For parents of children who have sustained burn injuries, the journey toward healing and recovery can sometimes feel very long. For Erin and her family, it sometimes felt like they were in a dark tunnel. “But if you stop and think of the bright lights guiding you to the sunshine, you realize there are more than you can count. The doctors, nurses, therapists, security staff, child life specialists, administrative assistants and all other employees give you the willpower to stay strong for your child and for yourself,” she said.

For Cam, some employees in particular have really made an impression. “Cam’s physical therapist Aimee and his surgeon Dr. Sheridan have truly changed our lives. They both have been with Cam since day one. He asks for them every time we have an appointment in ‘my Boston’ as he calls it. They are our family’s guardian angels! He also adores Ernesto in patient registration. He loves to talk to him when we check in and out,” said Erin.

When Cam came in for that clinic appointment dressed as Dr. Sheridan, he made sure to visit with some of his Shriners Children’s Boston friends, who were touched by the creativity and thoughtfulness of his costume.

Meet Camden

Camden's Halloween costume honored Dr. Sheridan.

Camden and Dr. Sheridan Shaking Hands

Camden is all smiles as he greets Dr. Sheridan

Camden with Dog

Camden enjoying pet therapy

Camden and Nurse

Camden helping nurse Jeanne at a recent appointment

Camden and Ernesto

Camden with Ernesto from patient registration

Camden with Provider

Camden in an earlier phase of recovery

Next Steps

Share Your Story

Our patients and families are at the heart of everything we do at Shriners Children's. We invite you to share how the team at Shriners Children's has helped your child.

Give to Shriners Children's

Through the generosity of donors like you, we've helped over one million children lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Contact Us

Have a question or request? Need to make an appointment? We're here for you.