Burn victim continues to touch the lives of many, Mom starts organization to help others
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 September 2014 on Interstate 10.
By Debby Schamber – For the Record
After more than nine months in the UTMB Galveston Blocker Burn Unit, Adam Doiron, 29, lost the battle and died.
Adam’s fight for his life began Sept. 2, 2014 in a fiery crash on Interstate 10 which left him burned over 90 percent of his body. His family was told he had a 10 percent chance of survival. Adam died twice in the Emergency Room on the day of the accident. He had some setbacks along his difficult journey. But, through it all he continued to touch the hearts of many people.
Adam had yet another surgery three weeks prior to his death. Following the surgery he was placed on his stomach to allow things to heal. This caused everyone to worry. However, he surprised everyone as he had many times before. He was doing well as far as his vitals and had very little skin breakdown. Unexpectedly, he coded. But, he was revived by his physician, Dr. Lee, who happened to be in his room checking on him. Adam coded three more times that evening, until they lost him for good. His funeral was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, on June 26th.
During the Doiron family’s long stay in the hospital they met many burn patients and their families. They saw many levels of physical, mental, spiritual, financial injury and pain. Tracy decided when Adam was finally able to come home, they would start a nonprofit organization that would directly help burn survivors and their families.
The organization, Adam’s Miracle, has already started helping someone by sending their first burn survivor and his wife to the annual World Burn Congress, the plan to help others as well.
Phoenix World Burn Congress is an annual, international conference that brings together 900 burn survivors, their families, caregivers, burn care professionals, and firefighters. This renowned event is a reflection of the community in action. People come together to offer support, increase their knowledge of burn recovery, and share inspiring stories. For many burn survivors, it is their first opportunity to connect with others on the journey of burn recovery.
Phoenix World Burn Congress is also a valued learning experience for burn care professionals. Through workshops, speakers, and peer-to-peer dialogue, professionals come to better understand the issues that impact the lives of burn survivors. Many participating firefighters have discussed the closure it brings them as they witness burn survivors and their families living meaningful lives, according to the PhoenixSociety.org.
Adam’s life as he knew it changed when he and a 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, arrived at the hospital and rarely left the hospital in case her son needed her. It was important to Tracy that Adam knew she was there.
Adams’s time at the hospital was like a roller coaster ride and full of ups and downs. During his more than 50 surgeries he received pieces of cultured skin which were grafted to his body. Then they had to wait 7 to 14 days before they knew if any of it attached and was successful.
Adam’s days were filled with challenges too. He had dressing changes up to four times each day. They were very painful and he ran the risk of his temperature dropping even though his room was kept at around 98 degrees. On this occasion, he was wrapped in warm blankets and had a portable overhead heater. His temperature was brought up slowly, but the process wore him out.
The wreck turned their world upside down but still brought the tight-knit family even closer. The Doiron family has learned many life lessons and Tracy 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.”
There were times when Adam was lucid and the mother and son were able to share special moments. He would tell her he loved her which would make her heart soar and would someday be an invaluable memory.
During the down time, Tracy posted updates about Adam on a Facebook page they had named “A Miracle for Adam.” They began it simply to elicit as many prayers as possible for Adam, as he needed a miracle. As a result, the number of “Prayer Warriors” grew to more than 20,000.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of people who followed Adam’s journey,” Tracy said.
It would turn out that Adam was actually the miracle as protested by the many followers. People following the page told the family Adam’s story touched their lives in such a profound way. These people became closer to God and their families and have learned to appreciate the many blessings in their lives.
Tracy still posts periodically, and will do so more often, once she has more news about the foundation such as fundraisers, other recipients, etc.
Anyone wanting to make a donation can do it two ways. One way is to make a contribution on their youcaring page at www.youcaring.com/AMiracleForAdam. Donations are also accepted at their address 422 Chestnut St., San Antonio, TX 78202.
“Our mail carrier is well aware of Adam, and still wears his Miracle wristband,” Tracy said.