Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Paint vapors explode in the basement.

This is going to be a second-hand version of what happened to Danny on Tuesday, August 4th. The details may need to be changed, but this the version of the story that I heard.

Danny was at a house in Kaysville painting the basement. They were using a lacquer based paint. This type of paint produces a lot of vapors. Whenever you are using this kind of paint, safety precautions are taken, such as turning off all pilot lights and any potential sparks in the house. It is believed that all of these precautions had been taken.

Right now, no one is sure what the ignition source was. Danny was in a closet on a ladder painting when the vapors from the paint flashed off and ignited. This caused an explosion that blew out windows and blew door frames out of walls. Danny was fully engulfed in the flames and fell off of the ladder. A neighbor saw Danny come running out of the house fully engulfed in fire. That neighbor helped put Danny out and then ran into the house to put out some of the spot fires that had resulted from the explosion.

Danny had suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 50% of his body. Paramedics arrived and took him to the nearest place that a life-flight helicopter could land. He was flown to the University of Utah hospital. He was taken to the ER and given a full medical evaluation and a CT scan to make sure he had not incurred a spinal or head injury from falling off of the ladder. When he was cleared from the ER, he was moved to the burn center.

Luckily it was not as bad as it could have been. Of the 50% of his body that was burned, about 80% were second degree burns and 20% were third degree burns. His legs, chest, face, back and head received second degree burns. His arms were burned the worst. The entire length of his arms from his wrist to his shoulders were third degree burns. The doctors had to make cuts in his skin the length of his arms to release the pressure due to the way the skin was tightening up and cutting off the blood flow. Also his nose and ears have some really deep burns that are third degree burns and are cause for concern.

I said that it was not as bad as it could have been, but it is still pretty bad. It will get worse before it gets better. Burns cause the body to pump fluids through the body at a rapid rate. Think of getting a big blister and all of the fluid that comes into it. Now imagine that blister over half of your body. Your body doesn't have enough fluid to keep that blister full. the body's response to this is to pump fluids to every part of the body. 6 hours after the burn, he was looking really swollen in the burnt areas. In 24 hours, his whole body will swell up like a balloon, even the areas that are not burned. The pain will be really bad. Right now it is a wait and see scenario. It is kind of hard to assess the severity of a bad burn for the first couple of days. A lot of it depends on the person and the way their body reacts.

There is a silver lining to this accident. Luckily Danny is young and in very good shape. As with everything health related, this is an advantage. Also, his hands and feet were not burned. When it comes to burns and healing, hands and feet are always problem areas. And most of all, his eyes were not burned. Even with really bad facial burns, his facial features still have their structure and his eyes and eyelids are still intact.

Thanks to all of the people who came to the hospital or wanted to come to the hospital. There was a huge group of friends and family there and an equal number of well wishers that wanted to be there. This is going to be a long, painful recovery for Danny. Bad burns are considered some of the worst injuries that can happen. Please keep him in your thoughts. All of your support is greatly appreciated.

We will be updating this blog periodically. Feel free to call Andy with questions or concerns.

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt


  1. Prayers and more prayers. Thanks Andy and Debbie for keeping everyone updated. -Jes

  2. Thank you Andy & Debbie for the blog spot. I'll be commenting here often to keep everyone updated with what Danny's mom and dad know about his situation.

    I posted some comments on Danny's Facebook page that may be of interest to those concerned about him.

    Right now I'm up in the middle of the night, which is common for me, but this night is not as pleasant as usual. As I awoke, my mind went straight to Danny and his condition. It's a nightmare that doesn't go away after waking up, and you wish you could sleep for the relief it brings.

    Danny is in the sleep state right now and will, in a few days, be waking up to a terrible, real nightmare. I know the knowledge of his friends being so supportive will be a great help for his recovery.

    Judy and I saw him twice yesterday. We and his girlfriend Catherine and his youngest brother Wynn were the first to get in to see him. Wynn and I administered a blessing on him which I offered. After that, we were observing his condition.

    His face and head were swelling and was not pleasant to look at. When asked later by his friends how he looked, the scene in Star Wars came to mind where Darth Vader was dying and had his helmet off. Danny's scalp and head looked similar to that.

    Later in the evening after 8:00 pm, we saw him again and it seemed to me that the swelling had grown. But that might be my mind playing tricks on me. We were told by one of the attendants that his arms and legs will be growing in size because of body fluids. That will happen over the next couple of days.

    While we are with him, we talk to him as if he was awake. The doctors have told us that even though he is sedated, it is likely he's aware of our presence and conversation.

    We'll be going back in a few hours. Any changes I observe, I'll will pass on and post them here.


  3. Your California family sends their love and support to all of you. We know how hard this is. Just know our thoughts are with you all.
    Karen and Bob

  4. We're so sorry to hear about Danny's accident. Our thoughts and best best wishes are with you guys and Andy's brother. Big hugs and a sloppy Rachel kiss to everyone-
    Gillian, Nate and Rachel

  5. Andy and Debbie- Im so glad you guys are keeping a blog. Its aweful being so far away at a time like this. I will keep Danny in my prayers and come up to see him as soon as I can. Let him know that I love him!

  6. Thank you for setting this up. Danny and your whole family is in our thoughts and prayers. We love you Danny and will visit next week while we are in town.

  7. I can't stop thinking about Danny. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

    Becky and Scott

  8. Debbie and Andy - we were so sorry to hear about Danny's accident. We are keeping him in our prayers here in Washington. Lynne, George, David and Mike

  9. I am one of Josh Caldwells' sisters, Diane. I have always thought the world of Danny and am so sorry to hear about this! He is all the Caldwells prayers.

  10. Debbie and Andy, you're doing an excellent job of explaining Danny's progress. I defer to your writing skills to keep us informed about the goings on with our son, brother, sweetheart and friend.


  11. Andy and Debbie
    I was just talking to my son-in-law (Beau Pettit) and it was brought to my attention that the painter injured tuesday was belived to be Danny. We saw the news report, and read the article in the paper, but no mension of the person envolved. Cody called and confirmed that is was indeed Danny. The wife and I have had the great pleasure of camping with Danny on serveral occasions and were looking forward to the Yellowstone trip.
    We are greatly concerned with Danny's recovery and our prayers and thoughts are with him at this time.
    We need to step up and cover some of the other problems that come with a extended hospital stay. If there is any thing that we could do to help Danny out (I cut a mean lawn), just let us know.
    Ron and Cheryl Eaton (Cody's dad)

  12. Hello Ron,

    You are very generous to help out. Danny's neighbor is taking care of the yard tasks. While Danny's mom, Judy, was at his house getting some things, the neighbor came over and volunteered for that assignment.

    I will keep you in mind if something should come up that would help Danny out while he is unable to do his normal activities.

    Jan (Danny's father)

  13. Jan, We all missed you and Judy at the Dam Jam. I've told all the mutual friends I've encountered about Danny and all voiced their empathy and concern. I also emailed the blog's URL to the current email list of Ogden jammers. Our hearts and prayers are headed in your direction, and I ain't just augerin'. Dan