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Ohio Teen Reflects on Burn Recovery

Bryson said it is 'surreal' how far he has come since his injuries sustained in a gas can explosion.

Seventeen-year-old Bryson measures his life by typical teen milestones – his first job, first high school dance, making varsity football, and getting his driver’s license learner’s permit.

But for Bryson, those accomplishment are even more meaningful, when nearly ten years ago he was given only a 13% chance to live after a gas can explosion caused critical burns over 87% of his body.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Bryson remarked. “I really do remember some of the times in the hospital when I was a kid. Whether it was physical therapy, dressing changes, or more fun times like when the zoo animals came to visit.”

Bryson spent five months at Shriners Children’s Ohio, ultimately going through 40 skin grafts and scar revision surgeries.

Lindsay Braun, RN, BSN, was Bryson’s primary nurse, and said she still remembers his fight to get better, which sometimes actually made recovery more challenging.

“Bryson is fiercely independent, so it was hard for him to stay on bedrest because he wanted to get up and move,” Braun said.

She added that no single person or department can be credited with Bryson’s amazing outcome.

“He’s a great example of what a multi-disciplinary care team does when working towards a common goal,” she said. “It’s not just the surgeons or nurses, but it’s also the nutritionists, rehabilitation staff, child life specialists, and especially his family who helped get him where he is today.”

“It takes every single person, in every single role, to create miracles; Bryson is one of those miracles,” Braun said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Bryson’s mom, Jaclyn.

“Without Shriners, he wouldn't be here at all. He had a 13% chance to live,” Jaclyn said. “And to go from that, to where he is now, I mean, we couldn't have made it without Shriners.”

Learn to enjoy the little accomplishments. I stay motivated by visualizing exactly what I want to accomplish. I truly believe that if you envision yourself doing something, the hard work will get you there.

Bryson’s burn recovery journey also included a Patient Ambassador role. He’s had the opportunity to throw a ceremonial first pitch at an MLB game, participate in hospital photoshoots, and in 2021, serve as a standard bearer at the Shriners Children’s Open.

Bryson is inching closer to another bittersweet milestone – graduating from Shriners Children’s. He still has a few years left, as patients typically age out of care around 21 years of age.

Bryson said, although he’s looking forward to that day, he hopes his journey can motivate other kids who just started their burn recovery.

“Learn to enjoy the little accomplishments,” he said. “I stay motivated by visualizing exactly what I want to accomplish. I truly believe that if you envision yourself doing something, the hard work will get you there.”

Bryson Does Not Let Burn Injury Hold Him Back

The 17-year-old enjoys life, when nearly 10 years ago he was given only a 13% chance of living.

Bryson holding thank you card

Bryson and his family say thank you to Shriner Children's Ohio. Pictured: Bryson holding thank you card.

Bryson holding hat with signatures

Serving as a Standard Bearer at the Shriners Children's Open, Bryson shows off his hat signed by professional golfers.

Bryson wearing sports jersey on field

Bryson's injuries never impacted his love for sports. Pictured: Bryson wearing sports jersey on field.

Bryson wearing cap

Bryson smiles while on vacation.

Bryson at beach

Bryson spending time at the beach

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