PERRY, Utah -- The town of Perry is rallying behind four boys who were burned when gasoline cans exploded at a neighbor’s home.
One of the victim’s grandfathers says the kids were playing with a lighter. Three of those boys were released from the University of Utah Medical Center before Thanksgiving but one remains in critical condition at the Burn Center.
Seven-year-old Tayton Winward is in a medically-induced paralyzed state and struggling to improve. It’ll be a long road to recovery for him and 10-year-old Tyler Bergman, who is at home recovering.
“I don’t think they were aware of what gasoline could do with fire,” said Blake Glover, Tayton Winward’s grandfather.
Tayton was among five boys playing with a lighter next to gasoline cans nearly two weeks ago while walking home from school in Perry. Four of the five boys, ages 7-10, suffered burns. Three of the victims were released from the hospital just before Thanksgiving.
"I’m glad for them but still hurting for my grandson,” Glover said.
Tayton suffered burns to his face, arms and hands, but he’s taken a turn for the worse because of another injury.
“It’s one of two problems,” Glover said. “[There is] inflammation from the swelling and damage to his lungs."
The lung damage was caused when Tayton inhaled fumes from the gasoline fire.
“The hardest part is watching him struggle what he’s got to go through, it breaks your heart to see a young child suffer like that,” Glover said.
The community is stepping up to help. The boys took classes, some in gymnastics, at The Peak children’s activity center. Tayton Winward’s mother also works there. This Friday, the Perry facility will host a fundraiser to raise money for all the boy’s increasing medical bills.
The fundraiser will include a silent auction, live entertainment and a healing tree where visitors can pick a specific item for a family that’s in need. All the money will help with the boys’ increasing medical bills.
“Most needs are things like gas money, insurance bills. With burns, the trips are very extensive to the U. of U. burn center and will be ongoing for some time,”
said Mardi Obray, owner of The Peak and fundraiser coordinator.
“I just appreciate everything everyone is trying to do,” Glover said. “The Peak center down there, they’re a close knit group so they wanted to do something.”
Staff at The Peak hopes 1,000 people will come out to Friday’s fundraiser, which came together in a day and has only been promoted via word of mouth and online.
"Our community will make it happen," Obray said.
More info at: http://peakkids.com/