Short Story: A Face First By Priscilla Cummings

1113 Words 5 Pages
Introduction “A Face First” by Priscilla Cummings, is the story of twelve year old Kelley Brennan who is involved in a horrific car accident and suffers several injuries including a broken leg and severe burns over a good part of her body. After the accident, Kelley has to suffer through a long and painful recovery including several surgeries and skin grafts. Kelley spends two months in the hospital and struggles with great physical pain and the realization that her life is forever changed by the accident. Once Kelley comes home from the hospital, she faces the recovery process and deals with the painful memories of the accident and has to face those memories head on.
Key Idea 1
Kelley’s accident occurred on a busy afternoon with her mother.
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Kelley was in the hospital for two months and during her time in the hospital she underwent several surgeries and procedures. The doctors warned her that her recovery would long and painful, “Dr. LaMotte grew serious. “You have to prepare yourself, though. There are going to be several operations, Kelley. Two or three grafts. Some plastic surgery. It’s going to take a year---maybe eighteen months before most of it is over. It’s possible that more surgery will have to be done three, four years down the road.” (Cummings, 34). Kelley had to undergo surgery on her leg and had to have pins placed to help her leg heal. In class we learned Kelley had to have several rounds of skin debridement where the doctors and nurses removed the old burned skin. Kelley suffered second and third degree burns. In class we learned about the layers of skin and about the way burns are classified. Kelley was required to wear special pressure garments called Jobst garments that put pressure on her burns to help prevent the new skin that was grafted from healing …show more content…
One of the biggest reasons was the burning and scarring on her face. After the skin graft procedures were done on her face, Kelley was required to wear a Jobst clear plastic mask. Kelley was told that she would be required to wear it at least a year. “A year. Twelve months. Three hundred and sixty-five days. Twenty-four hours a day. No twenty-three. They would probably give her an hour off a day to take a bath or shower.” (Cummings, 74). Kelley knew that she was going to be different from here on out. She knew that people were going to stare and look at her differently and she felt like she would be a freak. Kelley retreated emotionally and began not talking to anyone. Finally, a baby who came into the hospital with burns was moved into Kelley’s room and was her roommate. This baby, Ruby was also burned and had lived in a foster home. When the baby began crying and nobody could comfort her, Kelley finally broke her silence and comforted the baby. That was the thing that made Kelley turn the corner and come out of the shell she had placed herself inside. Kelley knew the pain that Ruby was going through physically and knew the emotional paint hat Ruby would also go

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