On October 1st, Joseph H. (last name withheld for his further safety) was attack on his own homesteading property. He shared his firsthand experience in his own words with very graphic pictures.
Those graphic pictures are going to be shown here unedited so be prepared.
I am so grateful that Joseph is willing to let “The Homestead Survival” share his attack, the after effects and to raise awareness for fellow homesteaders.
In Joseph H.’s own words, here is what happened:
“I still am getting many questions from people wondering how I became so badly burned, they are all wishing me well, praying for me and offering to help me.
3 weeks ago on Thursday, I had a small brush fire about 10ft in diameter burning on my property when someone I had never met or seen rode up on a ATV to introduce himself.
As far as what I could understand, he was asking if I needed help. I could barely understand him. I was not quite sure if he was drunk, stupid or had a mouthful of marbles because his language was so garbled. Anyhow, I told him “No, Thank You – I am fine”. I let the situation be.
About this time, I realized I had my 50 by 80 ft workshop door open. I could tell this stranger was trying to make a mental inventory list in his head of my tools and equipment. I stopped raking my leaves and walked over to shut the workshop door. On the way I bent down to reassuringly pet small dog “Jack”.
When I heard a shrill squeal (demented excitement) like a little girl, I turned around just in time to see the stranger throwing my 5 gallon container of gasoline straight at me.
Without thinking, I immediately picked up my small dog “Jack” and threw him as far as I possibly could towards the garden and out of harm’s way.
In an instant, the brush pile tripled in size due to the gasoline. My feet and legs were ablaze and the stranger who set me on fire bolted without me even noticing.
I ran into the garden where the sprinkler was spouting water and put myself out.
I then put the cover back on the burning gas container, luckily without burning my hands. I put the power nozzle on the garden water hose and spent the next 2 1/2 hrs putting the fire out.
When I was finally done, I came inside my house and assessed my burn. I put on burn cream, dead skin cream and 6 shots of 5% lidocaine in each foot which I gave myself.
I spent the night trying to figure out what to do because the closest Emergency Room or any doctor office being more than 100 miles away. I finally got up the nerve to make the long painful trip when I realized I could have some real problems going on here.
I went to hospital #1 who said my injury was too much for them. They sent me to hospital #2 who said this burn injury was beyond them facility as well. I was off to hospital #3, who had people waiting for me on standby. They threw me in a solution bath and started debriding my feet and ankles ( yes it hurt).
The Homestead Survival added the definition of “Debriding” for understandment of our readers: To remove dead, contaminated, or adherent tissue and/or foreign material. To debride a wound is to remove all materials that may promote infection and impede healing. This may be done by enzymes (as with proteolytic enzymes), mechanical methods (as in a whirlpool), or sharp debridement (using instruments).
Back to Joseph’s account of what happened: The next day the doctors cut a 10″×10″ patch of my thigh skin to graft to my toes and ankles. (See Picture) I then spent the next week in the Intensive Care Burn Unit at Springfield Missouri. Since my return home, I have been doing my own debriding.
I have since found out the stranger who set me ablaze with gasoline was the previous landowner of the my current property. He is also a druggie meth-head. He is well known to the police and they are actively looking for him in 3 states for arson. The police here in Missouri are seeking the attacking stranger on drug charges (meth) and arson.
The police found what they believe to be the ATV ridden during the attack, abandoned in the woods. It was also found to be stolen.
I am on the mend and hope this answers any questions people have. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers….
Update: I have only been up on this very private hill (my property). The folks (my neighbors) up here have been nothing short of angels. They have brought me food daily, picked up and done my laundry, they call me when they are in town to see if i need anything. They have even come by to help me change my bandages now and then.
Update 2#: The follow up with doctors yesterday went well. The doctors say that my feet and ankles are doing great healing quicker than they would have ever guessed but OF COURSE There is always a but……
The skin donor area on my thigh has been covered with the same patch for 14 days and looks horrible. It is a solid as bulletproof concrete (lol). The chicken shit doctors are terrified of touching it so they gave me some great drugs and suggested that I try debriding my thigh myself at home…I am not joking.
I started debriding last night and I passed out from the pain.
I am refreshed today and with a new sense of resolve I approached it with a vengeance and yes I succeeded. I am glad I did not let the doctors try it. I am also glad, I waited until I was done to indulge in the liquid and otherwise painkillers.
This is going to make changing bandages daily so much easier.
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes and for the wonderful folks up here in Squires Missouri. They are A #1 in my book and mind.
Thanks to Ya’ll, what a great emotional, spiritual and physical group of homesteaders assembled here…
My small dog “Jack” thanks you also.
Note from Christina: Joseph and I have kept in contact through his healing process. He is an upbeat good spirited man that has kept a positive outlook the whole time even through the pain. I feel honored to interact with him and that he was willing to share what happened to him in hopes that others will be warned of what could happen.
Greetings! I'm Melissa Francis, the founder and primary contributor to The Homestead Survival. With over 20 years of experience in homesteading, sustainability, and emergency preparedness, I've dedicated my life to helping others achieve a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle.
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