Putnam County Fire & Rescue helping family of 5-year-old who was severely burned

‘They were there as a warm shoulder to cry on, and they have been incredible,’ the boy’s mother says

HAWTHORNE, Fla. – As a 5-year-old boy continues to recover after being severely burned, Putnam County firefighters are raising money to help him and his family.

Nathan Scott, of Hawthorne, is at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, where, according to his mother, he is still on a ventilator but showing signs of getting better.

“He’s moving his right hand and his feet more, and he is able to watch us with his eyes,” said Nathan’s mom, Katie Scott.

On Monday, the 5-year-old was flown to Texas from UF Health in Gainesville, where he had been hospitalized since late December following a horrific accident. According to his mom, Nathan was helping his family in the backyard when he was injured. Yard debris was being burned in a burn barrel when the unthinkable happened.

“The fire was completely out. There were embers at the bottom of our burn barrel. He threw a gas can inside of it,” said Nathan’s mom.

Throwing the gas can into the barrel caused an explosion that severely injured Nathan. Sixty-five percent of his body was burned.

Photo provided by family. (News4JAX.com)

Nathan’s mom said her son didn’t throw the gas can into the burn barrel to cause trouble. Instead, she said her son thought he was being helpful since the fire in the burn barrel was out.

“He knows gas makes the fire come back. We only buy gas cans with the childproof nozzle — the locked nozzle. And he couldn’t get the gas to come out,” said Nathan’s mom.

Katie Scott flew with her son to Texas because she didn’t want him to be alone, and unfortunately, as a result of staying by her son’s side, she lost her job as a full-time nurse.

“I’m his advocate, as is his father, but we have four other children, and what worked was me coming out here and staying with Nathan and getting him through the process. My husband will come out as much as possible to be with us. In the meantime, he is working and taking care of our other children as well,” said Nathan’s mom.

Photo provided by family. (News4JAX.com)

Knowing Nathan’s mom lost her job, and her husband is now the only source of income for the family, the Putnam County Fire and Rescue union organized a fundraiser to help the Scott family.

On Saturday, members of the firefighter union will conduct a fill-the-boot drive. The locations of the drive will be:

  • Highway 207 at Highway 17 in East Palatka
  • Palm Avenue at Crill Avenue in Palatka
  • Highway 315 at State Road 20 in Interlachen

All donations will go directly to the family.

Saturday’s fundraiser won’t be the last. Other fundraising events for the family are currently being planned by the firefighter union.

Nathan’s mother says Putnam County firefighters have stayed in contact with her and her family since Nathan was first hospitalized.

“When we were at UF Health Shands, they came out and saw us several times to pray over Nathan and to advocate for my family. They were there as a warm shoulder to cry on, and they have been incredible, “said Nathan’s mom.

Nathan’s recovery will not be a fast one. First, he will have to begin breathing on his own. Second, he will have to undergo a series of skin grafting. And every three months after he is released from the hospital, he will have to return to Galveston for follow-up visits for one year. Then, he will be required to undergo yearly visits until he turns 18.

As for his mom, she’s doing everything possible to stay strong for her son and says she would not wish this experience on any person.

“My son is a fighter and he’s fighting through this. As his mother, I would much rather be in his place, and I wish that was an option,” Nathan’s mom said.

She also said she and her family have begun receiving counseling to help get them through this terrible experience.


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