On November 10, 2014, 16-year-old Kilee arrived home from school and discovered a bad smell in her house. What she did not know was that the odor was coming from a gas leak. She lit a scented candle to eliminate the smell and the gas fumes ignited in a fiery blast. Kilee was thrown backwards and knocked unconscious. She awoke to her dog barking over her, felt flames enveloping her body and got up to run to neighbors for help.
After being medevacked to an emergency room for initial care, Kilee was in critical condition with burn injuries over 45 percent of her body. She was later transferred to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Cincinnati where she underwent treatment for 38 days.
Kilee has since undergone surgeries, skin grafts and painful ongoing physical therapy to regain her independence and relearn simple tasks like tying her shoes and even turning a doorknob.
Remarkably, less than a year after the explosion, Kilee was back to playing varsity soccer. She says, “I’ve gotten my life back because of Shriners Hospitals, and I want to spread the word about the work they do.”
Kilee, along with her mom, has written a book about her recovery titled Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined. A portion of the profits have been donated to the Cincinnati Shriners Hospital to help more kids like Kilee.
Now as a busy college student, Kilee continues to give back to the hospital with her celebrity golf tournament and charitable foundation. “The most important thing I want people to know about Shriners Hospitals is that they care for children regardless of the families’ ability to pay. So, donations are crucial,” Kilee says. “I want to do anything I can to make sure other children get the same level of care I received.”
To learn more about Kilee’s story, visit kileegivesback.org.
Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a global leader in pediatric burn treatment, providing critical, surgical and rehabilitative burn care to children, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.