A controlled burn that went feral Feb. 24 left Marsha Neely of Waynesboro with second and third degree burns.
“When we lit the bamboo, it just went wild,” she said. “It was like gasoline.”
Neely, 59, said she got trapped on her 4-wheeler, unable to do anything but put the vehicle in reverse. As she was forced to rush toward the flames, the wind took the fire to the left, leaving a path toward safety.
Doctors told her that it was to her benefit that she was screaming. “If I had inhaled, I would be dead because it would have burnt my esophagus and lungs to black crisp bacon,” she said.
Still, the intense heat left Neely with severe burns to her face, knee, ear and neck. She has undergone multiple surgeries. She can’t go outside without sunscreen as she must be careful not to burn her new skin. She suffered an allergic reaction to cadaver skin treatment on several parts of her body. However, she feels blessed to be alive.
A benefit was held for her Saturday, April 9 at the Waynesboro Shrine Club to assist with medical and living expenses.
“I have not been able to work,” she said. “I’ve been stuck in the house.”
People interested in donating can Cash App donations to $mneely867 or Venmo Marsha-Neely. Donations may also be dropped off at Mr. Auto Parts.