4-year-old girl loses toes, remains in burn unit after family van catches fire

Data pix.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – Nearly a month after a family of five was sent to the burn unit following a van explosion, they have given an update on the youngest child who was trapped in her car seat when it happened.

July 27 painted a chaotic picture at the Pelican Bay Marina in Saratoga Springs.

People watched as a van burst into flames with a family still inside, the youngest trapped in her car seat.

“It looked like something out of a Hollywood scene, only it was real people and real trouble,” said Amy Downing Loveless, a witness.

All five people suffered serious burns. The mother and the 4-year-old girl were flown by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital Burn Unit while the other three — the father and two children under the age of 10 — were taken to the hospital by ground ambulance.

Miraculously, everyone came out alive. But now, the littlest member of the Jones family, Lilly, will spend the rest of her life dealing with the injures she sustained.

In a letter, the 4-year-old’s father, Derek, said Lilly is making progress — but it’s not all good news.

“She unfortunately lost all 10 of her toes, which were amputated in surgery this past week. The news they could not save them was heart breaking, especially knowing it will affect her balance and walking,” he wrote.

Nearly four weeks post-fire, Derek said his daughter is now able to nod ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ but still needs a ventilator to breathe.

“She is such a brave little girl, and still faces more surgeries and lots of physical therapy before she can go home. It’s hard to imagine what she has already endured and will still have to endure in the days ahead,” Derek wrote.

The full letter from the Jones family can be found below. A fundraising page has also been set up for the family.

Here is the latest update on Lilly: (the 4 year old who was most injured in the fire, as she was trapped in the car seat, during the explosion.)

Lilly is slowly but steadily making progress. But it has not been easy or all good news.
She has had several surgeries since the fire.

She had two last week which included skin grafting to her left arm and hand with autograft which was taken from an unburned area on her little body.

She unfortunately lost all 10 of her toes, which were amputated in surgery this past week. The news they could not save them was heart breaking, especially knowing it will affect her balance and walking.
Thankfully, her fingers are healing and she should have full use of them again someday. This has given us heart when we have grieved.

A full-thickness skin biopsy was taken which will be used to produce a product called SkinTE which will contain her own skin cells to help her grow new skin. It is currently in the testing phase for approval by the FDA and has to be approved for use on a case-by-case basis. In preparation for application of the SkinTE a product called BPM which is a matrix that promotes the growth of muscle tissue and will eventually dissolve was placed on her legs. Hopefully, in 3 weeks the SkinTE can be applied.

She is more awake and alert now but still on a ventilator to assist with her breathing.
She loves visits from her sisters, parents and grandparents and is able to nod her head yes or no now.
She loves watching Dora and Minnie Mouse movies on the TV in her room.

She is such a brave little girl, and still faces more surgeries and lots of physical therapy before she can go home.
It's hard to imagine what she has already endured and will still have to endure in the days ahead.
We want to say thank you again...
to each of you for your prayers and support offered in Lilly's and our whole family's behalf.

Gratefully,
The Jones family

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