By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A young woman who was severely burned last week in a Yellowstone National Park thermal area has now had multiple surgeries to deal with the injuries.
Laiha Slayton, 20, was burned when she jumped into a hot spring to rescue her dog, which had jumped out of the family’s vehicle and gotten away. Her father pulled her out of the spring and the dog ultimately died from its injuries.
Her sister, Kamilla Slayton, said her sister — who is still in a medically-induced coma — has already undergone four successful surgeries, but more work was still needed.
“She is hanging in as [tough] as possible,” Slayton wrote on a GoFundMe page. “The last surgery went well and they were able to work on her front and back which is awesome! Laiha will continue to go through surgeries to remove the dead skin and replace it will cadaver skin until the hospital has grown more compatible skin for Laiha.”
Slayton said her sister was in scalding hot, 190-degree, water for about eight seconds.
“My sister’s palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too,” Slayton said.
She said Laiha has burns on 91% of her body, a mix of third-degree and second-degree burns.
“The burns seem to be better than they had initially thought. She still has some 3rd degree burns but mostly 2nd degree burns after they have got a better look at the skin today,” Kamilla wrote. “This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast. She’s incredibly lucky. Dad saved her life.”
Slayton said her father was not in pain and his wounds on his foot were being treated. She said his blisters’ average size were about 1.5 inches.
The GoFundMe page for Laiha has raised more than $60,000 as of Tuesday.
Slayton’s was second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful when a 19-year-old woman left the boardwalk on the park and suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.