Yuma toddler Westyn Tudor survives severe burns, COVID-19 battle/David Wallace/The Arizona Republic
By Jamie Landers | Arizona Republic
When you’re 3, Band-Aids are “stickers,” casts are “gloves,” and hospital hallways seem big enough to be roadways, just the right size for Westyn Tudor’s fire-engine red tricycle.
Westyn just started riding last week, a milestone in the toddler’s progress since Nov. 11, 2020, when he fell backwards into a fire pit, sustaining third-degree burns over 45% of his body.
As he pedals on toward another lap through the Valleywise Arizona Burn Center, sporting Spiderman boots, loose black basketball shorts and a zip-up sweatshirt — “hood up, of course” — his mom, 32-year-old Amy Green, walks close behind, cheering him on.
“Well, that’s always great to hear,” Green replies. She looks to the nurse standing to her left, “I’ll never take that sentence for granted.”
What was once a normal day turned disastrous in an instant
Always “outdoor kids,” Westyn was playing with his twin brother and older sister in their backyard in Yuma on Nov. 11. Green, who had just received a job offer, planned to make steaks and barbeque on their charcoal grill for a celebratory dinner.
Westyn was severely burned after falling into a campfire at his Yuma home in November 2020.
Westyn’s father, Joe Tudor, was picking up charcoal when Green called him to let him know the kids wanted a fire outside. Calling it “ironic,” Green said Joe suggested she wait until he get home to start it, but with the kids begging in the background, Green decided to go ahead and light the fire pit.
Green said she turned her back for “a second” when she heard her daughter scream out for her. Westyn had fallen backwards into the pit, his legs up in the air. In “panic mode,” Green said she grabbed him by the ankles and tried putting the fire out with her own hands, which suffered minor burns as a result.
“I had no idea what to do — the only thing on my mind was somehow I have to put these flames out,” she said. “I practically threw him onto the ground to roll him around as fast as possible.”
Green called 911 who told her to wrap him a blanket and keep him calm until an ambulance could get there.
Life-flighted to Phoenix, Westyn was touch-and-go