Reading, Pa. burn victim returns to school

Friday, February 25, 2011
, Shirleen Allicot
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12-year-old Jaylynn McCracken returned to school today for the first time since she suffered a terrible accident in December.

Officials at the Northeast Middle School arranged a special re-introduction to help ease the transition. The lesson on burn awareness featured a living example, as Jaylynn stood before her schoolmates to share her painful story.

"I was in the kitchen playing with my sister and my mom had oil on the stove," she told the students. "I slipped, and the oil bounced off the stove and splashed on my face and my chest."

And now Jaylynn has to live with a visible reminder of what happened that day. She built up the courage to show her classmates her scars during today's assembly, and answer any questions they had.

"I was so nervous," she said afterward. "It's like you talk to all these people, a whole bunch of people."

Officials from the Lehigh Valley Health Network's Regional Burn Center, where Jaylynn received skin grafts for her face and chest, helped her along as part of their school re-entry program.

"If it leaves a physical scar it can be that much harder to go back to school," said Matthew Burns. "What this program does, is help re-introduce Jaylynn."

It will take years for Jaylynn's burns to heal completely, and she will still live with the scars. She told Action News hopes her testimony will prevent what happened to her from happening to someone else.

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