A visit from Leo Aviles’ great grandmother last week marked a milestone for the burn victim - he turned his head to look at her for the first time since a horrific accident severely burned over 90 percent of his body in February.
According to family spokesperson, Beverley Christiansen, nurses at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and family members were amazed and excited. Aviles had only looked straight ahead since he was hospitalized so the small movement was reason to rejoice.
Another milestone occurred for Aviles last week. He got his first solid food, a meal of scrambled eggs and it went well.
Every Friday Aviles has surgery to repair rejected skin grafts and to add new ones. The last surgery involved regrafting most of his back.
The little boy that just turned 12 on July 3 is still wrapped from head to toe except for his left hand that has begun to heal nicely. He has a small amount of movement in his fingers on that hand and is receiving physical therapy but the right hand is still in a cast. Doctors had to amputate the tip of his right little finger, Christiansen said.
Christiansen said Aviles was told of the loss and “It upset him, of course.”
Aviles is being kept awake during the day now and is able to communicate and say more about how he feels and where he hurts, Christiansen said. He still receives morphine for pain but the other more sedating drugs are no longer needed.
Christiansen said Aviles stands and sits each day with help, but has not yet begun walking and that may still be sometime down the road.
Christiansen said the doctors have told the family to expect Aviles to remain in the hospital for several more months - totaling of a year. He will most likely then be sent to a facility in Galveston for rehabilitation.
“They’ve been told to talk honestly and get emotions out,” Christiansen said. “And that’s been going well.”
Aviles’ mother, Anna, has left her hairdressing job to attend to be with her son. She has an apartment and her three-month lease will be up next week.
“After that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do,” Christiansen said.
She expects to be talking to a social worker about it soon.
“She (Anna) wants to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers,” Christiansen said.