A Kanawha County teenager who was badly burned is making a remarkable recovery.
Tornado resident, Jaden Mellert, 13, was asleep on his family’s living room couch December 19th when the home caught fire. Investigators still aren’t sure exactly what happened but the family believes a ceramic heater exploded and Mellert tried to move it to stop the fire from spreading. Investigators are waiting to talk to the teen until after he’s had more time to heal.
Mellert was taken to Mercy Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh with severe burns. He was on a ventilator for smoke inhalation. But just a week and a half later, the 13-year-old is healing faster than anyone imagined.
“They’ve been able to bring the burns from 27 percent down to 15 percent [of his body]. The burns are healing really nice. He didn’t have to get any skin grafts. He’s just continuing to improve every day,” according to Mellert’s cousin Cameron Lightner.
The teen is breathing just fine on his own and couldn’t wait to get out of his hospital bed and start moving around.
“At the beginning we thought it was going to be a long and hard battle and now he’s got the opportunity to possibly come home at the end of this week,” Lightner said.
But despite the fast healing, there will be some recovery time. An account has been set up at City National Bank in Charleston to help pay for those expenses at the Jaden Mellert Donation Fund.
Lightner says what’s so amazing about his cousin is that he had the presence of mind to try and put out the fire even though he was seriously injured.
“He was more concerned about everybody else than he was about himself,” he said.
On top of the injuries to Jaden, the family lost their home and everything they owned. Lightner and his family are collecting clothing, furniture and other items to help their loved ones get back on their feet. He says he’s been overwhelmed by the community support.
“People are just coming out of the woodwork and showing a lot of support. People that don’t even know us or them have just stopped and dropped off donations,” according to Lightner.
If you’d like to donate you can call the Lightner family at 304-951-5860. New Hope Baptist Church is also collecting items.