Patient with serious electrical burns shares his story.
FORT WAYNE — Last summer, a woman Pablo Campos had never met approached him and said she felt compelled to pray for him. Pablo was taking a break from operating a crane outside the city’s water pollution control plant. He remembers that encounter, but not the events about to unfold.
As Campos resumed work, the swing brake on the cab of the crane did not lock, allowing the boom to come into contact with a power line. When he touched the plates, it sent thousands of volts of electricity through his right hand and body, exiting from his right foot. The shock stopped his heart.
A first responder on the scene, Officer Scott Lewis, moved quickly and with the help of others, used a defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to revive him before quickly transporting him to Lutheran Hospital’s Regional Burn Center.
“I just remember waking up in the hospital, no clue what had happened, whatsoever,” explains Campos. “I do remember hearing my wife tell me, ‘Breathe, breathe.’”
Campos had deep burns through the bottom of his foot and his hand was mostly exposed flesh with four fingers fully exposed. Despite the severity of his injuries, he recalls the comfort and attention given by the Burn Center staff from the beginning. “The nurses and the staff were always right there when I needed something or someone,” recalls Campos. “My wife was there every moment she was allowed and they treated her so well, too. We got to know the staff. They cared a lot about my progress.”
“When he came in, not only did he suffer from the burns, he suffered cardiac arrest in the field,” says Byron Arrivillaga, RN, BSN, MHA, Nursing Services Director, Lutheran Hospital Regional Burn Center. “Some of the measures we had to put in place were to preserve brain function. It was that serious. But after he woke up from his induced coma, he was a go-getter, up and ready to go – he went home just a couple of days after waking up.”
Just months after the experience, Campos feels everything’s pretty much back to 100% and he’s back at work. Working with a physical therapist, he is able to do many of the things he was able to do prior to the accident, including making a full fist and holding a hammer. “My body had totally shut down. You start appreciating life more than ever. I am very fortunate to be here and with my family,” reflects Campos. “I think the doctors did a tremendous job. Because of them, I’m here, I’m alive. I came in with very little chance of surviving, but whatever they did, it just worked out.”
The Lutheran Regional Burn Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services. “If a person’s burn needs attention or causes enough concern to visit an ER, physician or urgent care center, the Burn Center can help,” says Arrivillaga. “On any given day, we receive calls about accidents at home that result in burns; for example, a recent case was a child with a scald from pouring food on his chest. This is something we can easily mitigate as we treat burn patients every day.”
Even though his stay was short, the impact on Campos was big. “Every time I come back to the Burn Center, everybody knows me by name. They’re like ‘Hi, Pablo!’ I don’t want to say I miss coming over, but I do miss the fact that everybody was just so friendly, every time.”
Campos does not know if it was divine intervention on behalf of the woman who stopped and prayed for him that summer day before the accident, but he does know he could not have had better care from the Lutheran Regional Burn Center. Learn more here: https://www.lutheranhospital.com/burn-center