In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a good guy who gets punished by the gods because he gave humanity the secret of fire. Fire has long been regarded as life-giving and helpful to the human race.
It’s an interesting myth, but it fails to take into account one thing: Though fire may warm, it can also destroy. Just look at the case of Layne Chesney.
The Fort Pierce, Florida, ninth grader was roasting marshmallows with friends on New Year’s Eve when something horrific happened.
A nearby gas can exploded, and the 14-year-old girl’s body was engulfed in flames.
Her mother, Leigh Chesney, told CBS Miami that “when the [fire’s] flames went out, one of the children or her — I do not know the complete story — accidentally or on purpose put more gas to the fire. An explosion occurred, and she was enveloped in flames.”
Her friends did everything they could to help her, and when police arrived, they found Layne responsive and bundled in moistened towels.
Still, the fire had burned every part of her body — except the bottoms of her feet.
“My daughter has sustained burns over 95-percent of her body,” Chesney said. “She has suffered a lot of disfiguring injuries.”
After stabilizing the teen at a local hospital, doctors had her flown to Miami’s Kendall Medical Center where she was placed in a medically induced coma.
The road ahead will not be easy. Her mother acknowledged this, saying “She’s going to have a very difficult, long battle.”
“She is going to have many, many setbacks. Some days difficult and some days better. They can’t make any promises. They are doing the very best that they can.”
Chesney says her recovery will likely take an entire year.
She has undergone multiple surgeries to debride her ravaged tissue and replace it with skin harvested from cadavers.
Two other individuals — 18-year-old Hunter Holmes and his father Robert — were injured in the incident, and they were also flown to Kendall Medical Center where they were listed in fair condition.
“[Robert] grabbed her and held her,” Chesney explained. “He used his body to put out the flames.”
Despite the terrible extent of her injuries, doctors seem to think Layne will make a full recovery. “[S]he should walk out of here without any evidence of her injuries,” Chesney said.
“She has defied all obstacles working against her. She’s a strong girl who has plenty of fight inside her.”