LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The UMC Lions Burn Care Center held its annual celebration reuniting child burn survivors with the caregivers who helped them.
Mia Keeles,15, is still recovering from burns she suffered last year that left a scar on her face.
“Everybody was like really sad. I really disappointed myself,” Keeles said. “It was really a hard time for everybody.”
Keeles said she was cleaning her jewelry with alcohol when the bottle caught on fire and blew up. She received care at the UMC Lions Burn Care Center.
“I just go back to my normal routine,” Keeles, who is enrolled at Ed W. Clark High School’s magnet program, said. “I did volleyball and I do dance, so nothing really changed after the incident.”
Danber Buckland was also treated at UMC for burns that have since healed.
“If anyone makes fun of your burn just ignore them. You can’t let other people’s words hurt you,” Buckland said.
All these children were at the North Las Vegas Fire Station 52 for the burn center’s annual “Lil Roar” pediatric holiday event.
Yasmin Conaway is the burn program manager at the UMC Lions Burn Care Center and said the treatment isn’t just physical.
“There’s also the emotional part of it. That emotional healing that they need, so we have peer support,” Conaway said.
Some survivors and their families were reunited at the gathering with the caregivers who treated them.
Most of the burns UMC treats children for in Nevada are pavement burns that happen during the summer months.
“We get into the triple digits here in the hot summer months. The pavement, the ground gets really hot, close to about 170 degrees, and that can cause burns in seconds,” Conaway said.
UMC’s burn facility is the only verified burn center in Nevada, and the North Las Vegas Fire Department considers it an asset for the community and for the other fire agencies in the area.
Vice president of the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation and North Las Vegas firefighter, Keith Armington, said he understands how important the burn center is.
“Being within the city of North Las Vegas, UMC is 15 to 20 minutes at the most. Having a UMC burn center on-site, in southern Nevada, is huge,” Armington said.
The burn foundation also gave out toys for all the kids who attended the holiday celebration.