11-year-old Sylvan Lake burn survivor using his story to inspire others

Kaden Howard was recently named the 2020 Champion Child for the Stollery in Edmonton

Kaden Howard was in an accident that left the majority of his body covered in burn scars, but he doesn’t let that affect him and is determined to live his life as normal as possible. Photo submitted

Eleven-year-old burn survivor Kaden Howard of Sylvan Lake hopes his story will help others in a similar situation find their will and hope to get better.

Recently, he was named the 2020 Champion Child for the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

It came with $500 for Howard to spend as he liked, which he admits was spent on some video games.

Being named child champion means Howard will attend various events over the next year where he will tell his story and try to raise money for the Stollery and the Children’s Miracle Network.

When asked how he thinks his story will help inspire others, Howard responded, “That’s where I’m confused.”

“Kaden doesn’t understand just how amazing he is,” said Kristy-Lee Bolton, Howard’s mother.

Howard was camping and quading with his father, and while gassing up his quad on a hot day during the May long weekend in 2018, something sparked and he was engulfed in a ball of fire.

Bolton said she is so grateful for those who were nearby and helped Howard when it happened, saying the oilfield training of those nearby saved Howard’s life.

“They removed his shirt before wrapping him in cold wet linens, and that is something I never would have thought of,” Bolton said, adding, “It took a minute and a half to get him wrapped up and into an ambulance.”

Howard was first taken to hospital in Rocky Mountain House before going to the Stollery via STARS.

He was in a medically-induced coma for almost two weeks, isolated for 52 days, had several grafting surgeries to treat the burns that covered 70 per cent of his body from the neck down and a surgery on his arm.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. When he was in isolation I couldn’t even touch him … We didn’t know what to expect and we just took it one day at a time,” Bolton said.

Howard defied all odds, and said he was determined to not only walk, but to live a normal life and play hockey again.

One day he woke up and told his mother that he was going to walk that day.

“I didn’t think much of it, but I told him we would try. He took eight steps that day,” Bolton said. “He took more the next day and the next. We stopped counting after 300.”

Howard doesn’t remember much from the hospital, but he remembers enjoying aspects of it.

He played Xbox a lot and used that to get other children around him to have hope, though he didn’t know it.

One instance had Howard asking another child to come play Xbox after comparing their accidents.

“I remember the boy’s dad had tears in his eyes and thanked us. The boy hadn’t been out of bed in two weeks and had barely eaten anything,” said Bolton.

Howard’s determination to be a normal kid was so intense, that four months after the accident, he was discharged. Three days later, he was back to school. One month later, he hit the ice with his hockey team.

Though he doesn’t really remember that first skate, Bolton said there was a lot of smiles and tears seeing him skating again.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

This photo was taken just a couple days after Kaden Howard’s accident and shows the extent of damage casued by the fire. Photos submitted

Just Posted

Alberta predicting 400 to 6,600 deaths from COVID-19 in months to come

Alberta predicting 400 to 6,600 deaths from COVID-19 in months to come

Alberta RCMP have reported being threatened with COVID-19

Some members of the public are threatening RCMP by claiming to have COVID-19 and coughing on them.

25 new cases Tuesday in Alberta, provincial total at 1,373

Premier Jason Kenney to provide more information later in the evening

The unexpected joys of life with boys

I wouldn’t have it any other way

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

UPDATE: How the coronavirus is impacting the Bashaw area

Precautions, advisories, and cancelled community events

A message from the publisher

Support local news and purchase a subscription

COVID-19 world update: Joy in Wuhan as lockdown lifted; Pope denounces profiteers

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news items from around the world

Liberals asked to help cover overruns on projects delayed by COVID-19

$5 billion in federal funding for 607 projects

COVID-19 sparks rise in online child predators, says UNICEF chief

Canada’s efforts to help young girls and women recognized

More help on way for those not eligible for emergency aid programs

A retooled Canada Summer Jobs program to be announced

Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73

Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73

Most Read