A GoFundMe page set up for a Washington woman who was severely burned after jumping into a Yellowstone National Park hot spring to rescue her dog has so far raised more than $58,000 for her medical expenses.
Kamilla Slayton set up the page for her sister, 20-year-old Laiha Slayton, who was injured on Oct. 4 at Maiden’s Grave Spring along the Firehole River. The dog did not survive. Laiha’s father, Woodrow, pulled her from the hot water, burning his foot in the process, and drove his daughter to the nearby community of West Yellowstone for initial medical treatment by Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District personnel.
Laiha has been placed in a medically induced coma at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, after being airlifted from Montana.
“The vet bill, my sister's, dad's, medical expenses are something that my family can’t afford right now,” Kamilla wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Not only that, but my parents have to stay out of state for a few weeks to a month depending on her recovery. They will need help with food and lodging, and cremation services for her puppy.”
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The fundraising goal on the site is $200,000. More than 1,200 donors have contributed so far.
On the website, Kamilla described the extent of her sister’s injuries and the treatments she still faces, including burns on 91% of her body, a mix of third-degree and second-degree burns. Second-degree burns affect the outer and middle layers of skin. Third-degree burns destroy the skin and the layer below – called the dermis – where capillaries, nerve endings, sweat glands and hair follicles are found.
“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 on Oct. 6. “This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast. She’s incredibly lucky. Dad saved her life.”
In an Oct. 11 update, Kamilla wrote that Laiha had undergone four successful surgeries working on her front and back to remove dead skin and temporarily replace it with cadaver skin.
“She is most vulnerable to infection right now,” Kamilla wrote.
Kamilla told KSL.com that her sister was moving from Washington to Ohio with her father and two Shih Tzu dogs named Chevy and Rusty to begin a new job as a dental assistant when they decided to detour to Yellowstone.
"They were only two hours away and felt stupid not to go take a look," she said.
The GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-my-family-and-laiha-recover.