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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

On Her Feet Again: One Patient's Road to Recovery After Third-Degree Burns

Posted By: Advancing Care

On October 17, 2023, JaLynn Davis, a recent Howard University graduate, suffered third-degree burns in her apartment in Washington, D.C.

“It was the night of my 23rd birthday,” Davis said. “I brought home my birthday cake from dinner. I set the box on top of the stove and accidentally bumped into one of the gas burner knobs. Before I knew it, the box was up in flames.”

Davis quickly tried to put out the fire, but her fire extinguisher had expired. She grabbed a towel, soaked it with water and threw it on the fire.

But then, a dry corner of the towel wrapped around her ankle and caught fire.

JaLynn Davis

Davis passed out before she could remove the towel and suffered third-degree burns on her foot. When she came to, almost four hours later, she called her mom.

Davis’s mother, who lives in the Hudson Valley, had been in a house fire once before too, and knew how dangerous a burn could get if not treated properly. She wanted only the best medical care for her daughter, so she drove down to D.C. to pick up Davis and take her to the HealthAlliance emergency department.

“I didn’t even realize how badly burned my foot was until hours later, but we knew we had a small window of time to get it treated before it became infected,” Davis said.

After a long journey, Davis and her mother entrusted their care to the HealthAlliance team. Davis met with emergency medicine physician Jesse Wolstein, MD and registered nurse Christine Resti.

“Immediately, they made me feel so comforted,” Davis said. “I think they could tell how scared of permanent damage I was, and they did an amazing job of explaining my situation to me and generally making me feel better.”

The Emergency Department staff at HealthAlliance took control and swiftly coordinated Davis’s treatment plan with the WMCHealth Burn Center, a verified Adult and Pediatric Burn Center by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the sole burn center in Eastern New York between New York City and the Canadian border.  

Davis couldn’t walk much on her affected foot, so in the meantime, her care team had her practice range of motion exercises so she could keep her foot moving. About four weeks later, Davis was allowed to remove her bandages and found that her foot was almost fully healed. “I was so relieved,” she said.

Now recovered, Davis is back out in the world. “Once I took my wrap off, I immediately jumped on a flight to L.A. to visit my friends,” she laughed. “I don’t want to waste any time now that I’m back on my feet.”

Davis is grateful to the HealthAlliance emergency department and Burn Center staff that helped her heal and recover from this traumatic event. Davis added, “I couldn’t have had better care, I’m sure of that.”