Woman In Coma With Major Burns After Trying To Save Dog From Yellowstone Hot Springs
A woman has been put into a medically induced coma after suffering severe burns from jumping into a Yellowstone National Park hot spring in an attempt to rescue her dog.
In a news release from Yellowstone park rangers, Laiha Slayton (above) jumped into Maiden’s Grave Spring on Monday to rescue her dog after it ran away.
She was in the spring for less than ten seconds before she was pulled out by her father, but even in that short time in the water — which has a temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit — she “suffered significant thermal burns from her shoulders to feet,” according to officials.
The woman received some treatment from park rangers and local fire officials before she was taken to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. The dog died from its injuries.
Laiha’s family set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover her medical expenses, which has already raised over $40,000 of its $45,000 goal. Her sister Kamilla wrote on the page:
“My sisters palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too.”
On Wednesday, Kamilla shared an update saying Laiha’s burns were “better” than doctors had initially thought. Although she had sustained some third degree burns, most of her body is covered in second degree burns.
Kamilla noted that Laiha was “in the scalding water for about 8 seconds,” adding:
“This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast. She’s incredibly lucky… Dad saved her life. Please send love and praise his way.”
Kamilla said her father had blisters on his feet, but had escaped further injury. She added that her sister will likely be in a medically induced coma for several weeks, and that she might have to stay in the hospital for months.
Yellowstone officials warn visitors to stay away from the more than 10,000 hydrothermal features — including geysers and hot springs — in the park, noting that the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, with scorching water just below. The park said:
“Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features.”
This incident marks the second significant injury in Yellowstone’s thermal area this year. Last month, a 19-year-old Rhode Island resident suffered second- and third-degree burns near the Old Faithful Geyser and was rushed to the burn center.
Our thoughts are with Laiha as she continues to recover.
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