2-year-old burn victim returns home after five-month hospital stay in Texas

Posted at 4:10 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 18:45:00-04

TULSA -- It was a miraculous recovery after the 2-year-old Tulsa toddler found himself engulfed in flames, crying out for his mother.

The horrific incident happened back in December when little Alex Stephenson caught fire and suffered burns to nearly his entire body. But on Saturday, Alex's story of tragedy has a happy ending.

It was a day that shook a family to it's core. Smoke billowed from a midtown home, drawing neighbors out to the street.

It was a horrifying site of flames destroying a family's home, but the worst news was yet to come.

"The initial thought is you don't feel anything," Jacob Stephenson, Alex's father said. "You don't think anything."

A child could be heard, screaming for his mother as flames swallowed his body.

"The minute (his mom) saw him she reached in and pulled him out," Stephenson said. "She suffered some burns as well."

Baby Alex was in the wrong place at the wrong time, when the fire broke out in the garage. He was airlifted to a burn hospital in Galveston, Texas, where his journey began.

"In our time in Galveston, basically staying at a hospital every day, we watched other children leave, which we were exuberant for them because that's one less person suffering," Stephenson said.

Alex was in the hospital for five months, undergoing extensive treatments, surgeries and therapy. The 2-year-old endured all of this, even losing fingers and toes in the process. But the the worst part for the toddler was being away from home.

After countless surgeries, and days that seemed endless, Alex was released from the hospital and made the trek back home. His father said for Alex, nothing really changed,

"As far as he's concerned he's still a 2-year-old boy."

Alex's body is still delicate, and he is covered from head to toe, each article of material serving a purpose to heal. But the journey isn't over yet.

"It's not 'OK you're patched up hit the road,'" Stephenson said. "It's 'All right come back and see us in this amount of time and we'll see how you're doing then.' It's for the rest of his childhood."

But now, it's no longer about the travesty, its about the healing to come.

"That little boy is a tougher man that his father," Stephenson said.

The family will travel back to Galveston some time in May for another appointment, and will continue visiting the hospital until advised otherwise. 

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