It has been three weeks since Tristan Cormier was admitted to Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Canada, for horrific second- and third-degree burns that covered his entire body. Now that the 2-year-old is allowed to go home, his family is opening up about their story in hopes of saving other families from this pain.
According to Tristan's grandmother, Sheila LeBlanc, his parents were cleaning up their yard and put some of the debris in a backyard fire pit. The family then roasted marshmallows before putting the fire out with water and going inside for the evening.
The next day, Tristan was playing with his grandfather when he tripped while pushing one of his trucks and fell hands-first into the fire pit. Even though it had been around 16 hours since they had put out the fire, and he was picked up within 30 seconds of the fall, Tristan was severely burned. "My father was holding my son frantically and all I could see was just ashes everywhere and I instantly as a mom just took him inside and called 911," Tristan's mom, Shelley Cormier, told Global News.
Tristan underwent surgery for the burns and had skin removed from his back to replace the damaged tissue on his arm and hand. Tristan's family removed the fire pit and replaced it with a play structure for when Tristan is feeling better, and his mom shared what she wished she had known on Facebook Live.
"[Fire] can burn up to 24 to 48 hours afterwards, depending on the temperature outside and the type of fire pit you're using," she said. "It was definitely a shock to see."
According to Brian Levesque, a fire prevention officer with the City of Edmonton, people don't realize just how hot fires can remain, even after you think it's been extinguished. "If it looks like it is out but they're not 100 percent sure, the best thing to do is to add more water, give it a really good stir, add more water, stir it again, and add more water. Just to be sure, to make sure it's really well flooded," he told Global News. "You don't want any smoke. You don't want to hear any popping. You don't want to hear any hissing. You don't want to see any steam coming off the wood anymore."
As Tristan continues to recover, Shelley hopes that people share her his story. "I would never ever, ever, ever want another parent to have to go and witness the pain I've seen my child in, and I would never want a child to experience that pain," she said. "So just to be really cautious."