Against all odds; will to live shines through
Adam Doiron, 29, and his family quickly discovered how someone’s life can change in an instant after a fiery crash on Interstate 10 on Sept. 2 left him burned on 90 percent of his body. More than a month later, Adam still has a 10 percent chance of survival.
Everyday that he is still alive is another miracle and a testament of his will to survive. Adam died twice in the Emergency Room, and with some setbacks along his difficult journey he continues to touch the hearts of many people.
‘We need a miracle for Adam,” said his mother, Tracy Doiron. “He is a fighter who wants to live, and so I beg you for prayers and healing thoughts for my Adam.”
It all began at about 4:30 p.m. Adam and his family friend of many years, Robert McElveen, 53, were traveling eastbound in a tractor -trailer on their way to another job where they worked as lighting technicians . The traffic was stopped due to an earlier wreck. McElveen did not see the stopped traffic as he neared the area of Highway 62 and to avoid striking the vehicle in the lane ahead of them veered into the inside lane. The tractor trailer then struck the concrete divider causing the cab to burst into flames as it separated from the trailer. The momentum of the crash caused the trailer to continue to move forward. The trailer went over the concrete divider into the westbound lanes before it came to a rest on its’ side, according to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The cab was engulfed in flames as he quickly moved to safety. His body was covered in flames, but he remembered what he was taught as a boy, “stop. drop and roll.” He began rolling on the ground and witnesses at the scene attempted to help put out the flames. Tracy refers to these people as “Earth Angels.”
A helicopter arrived and flew him to UTMB-Galveston.
McElveen died at the scene. Other people injured at the scene were transported to area hospitals, according to DPS.
Adam’s mother, Tracy Doiron, was at a local store, near her home in San Antonio, when she got the phone call that no parent ever wants. She told the caller to call her husband. They quickly got what they could together before making their way to Galveston. The drive seemed to take forever, she said.
Tracy has not left the hospital since she first arrived.
“I am doing what any mother would do,” Tracy said. “It’s important to me that he knows I am here.”
During their first days at the Blocker Burn Unit, Bob and Tracy Doiron were told the journey would be a roller coaster ride, with some ups and many, many downs.
Adam has endured 10 major surgeries in less than 30 days. After each surgery, he gets sicker for a while. One reason this happens is because his entire body is covered with infection and surgery “stirs” it all up and usually makes him septic, according to Tracy.
Adam’s most recent surgery was Friday when he received 48 pieces of cultured skin grafted to his chest, abdomen and thigh areas. Now they must wait 7 to 14 days before they will know if any of it attached and was successful. He is scheduled to receive another batch of skin Wednesday where they will graft his arms and legs.
Before the grafting, doctors harvested some of the skin Adam has left. The layers were taken to a Boston lab which the only place in the U.S. where this is done.
Adam’s days are filled with challenges too. He has dressing changes up to four times each day. They are very painful and he runs the risk of his temperature dropping even though his room is kept at around 98 degrees. On this occasion, he is wrapped in warm blankets and has a portable overhead heater. His temperature is brought up slowly, but the process wears him out.
It is his “up” times which bring joy to his family. Adam has not ate much since the wreck, but lately had a strawberry shake.
“This is the most awesome thing I have ever tasted,” Adam said as he kept closing his eyes and smacking his lips.
Tracy spoon fed him until it was thin enough for him to drink through a straw. He nearly had the whole cup. So many people were excited for him as he ate the shake. His nurse, nurse manager and dietitian stood in the doorway of his room to watch his reaction to the first bite.
“It was such a blessed moment,” Tracy said.
The nurses in the burn unit are the “elite.” They are caring and loving, Tracy said.
The wreck has brought this tight-knit family even closer.
“Family. You guys are the best,” Adam told his parents during a visit.
Grinning “like crazy” they replied, “ Of course we are! We’re your parents!”
There are also simpler moments between the mother and son where he tells her he loves her which makes her heart soar.
During the quiet times, Adam listens to audio books on his iPod his sisters, Sam and Raygen got for him. Tracy puts it up to his ear for him to listen to it. Reading books has also been a passion for Adam.
Tracy has set up a Facebook page named “A Miracle for Adam.” She posts daily with updates on his progress. She also reads the posts to Adam. She hopes that everyone will continue to send thoughts and prayers as they move forward on their journey.
“They are so comforting to me and to Bob, please continue,” she said. “Facebook is my journal and peace of mind.”
In addition, they receive cards, letters and care packages. Others wanting to send items can do so at PO Box 2523, Galveston, TX 77553.
Tracy knows Adam will have a long road of recovery and will need financial help. Those wanting to make a donation can do so at the caring fundraising page, www.youcaring.com/AMiracleForAdam. Most of all Tracy wants the continued prayers for her son.
“We are not the kind of people who ask for anything, but this is a lifelong change for Adam,” she said.
The Doiron family has learned many life lessons and she urges others to always realize the importance of family and to spend as much time as possible with them. She also says to “not sweat the small stuff.”
“Our whole world has been turned upside down,” she said of the wreck.
Tracy has talked with other burn survivors and asked them about the things they had endured. They told her it was the “double look” or the “stares” that were hard for them. The burn survivor told her he would rather people look him in the eye and smile.
Tracy knows the road ahead for her son will be filled with obstacles since he will no longer look like the Adam she once knew. But, she knows the kind, gentle and caring person inside will shine through.
“You don’t know a person’s story and no matter their affliction, treat them as a person,” Tracy said.
Photo – Adam Doiron, 29, touches his mother’s face, Tracy Doiron, as he lays in the burn unit in Galveston after a wreck in a tractor-trailer Sept. 2 on Interstate 10.