Pownal supper to benefit family of burned toddler

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Bandages covered 1 1/2-year-old Johnny Wentworth following an accident at home on May 4 when he suffered second-degree burns.

Johnny Wentworth can do what most 18-month-old children do now, though he must be careful about going outside. He still has tender skin from the second-degree burns he suffered from an accident in his Augusta home on Wednesday, May 4. So John Delano Wentworth III, or Johnny, as he’s called, must wear protective cream and a hat when he ventures outside. He’s under the watchful eye of his mother, Hannah.

“His skin is brand-new skin now,” Johnny’s father, John Wentworth, said Monday. “It’s basically like the skin you have when you have a sunburn. But the discoloration should be gone in a year.”

John Wentworth is the son of the Rev. John Wentworth, pastor at First Parish Congregational Church in Pownal, where parishioners learned of the accident and wanted to help the family. A benefit spaghetti supper is planned for Saturday at the church.

On the morning of May 4. Hannah Wentworth was ill, so her husband came home from his job as manager of the Circle K in Waterville early to watch Johnny. The father was cleaning a humidifier with boiling water when the water expanded and blew up out of the unit. Johnny just happened to be walking by at the time.

“It blew up,” Wentworth said of the humidifier. “It was a very foolish move on my part. It was definitely one of those freak accidents. Johnny was covered with boiling water so I picked him up and took his clothes off and he was in the hospital in five minutes.”

From MaineGeneral Medical Cener in Waterville, doctors quickly arranged for Johnny and his father to be flown by Lifeflight of Maine to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston, which treats burn victims.

“They stripped him of his burned skin,” Wentworth said. “It was very traumatizing for him. It was very tough watching him go through that.”

Wentworth said that doctors at Shriners used a cream to ease Johnny’s pain, and then  bandaged him. There was slow improvement.

“They were amazing,” Wentworth said. “At the end of Wednesday he was able to be held, and was smiling. At the end of this year there shouldn’t be any scarring, which we’re very fortunate for.”

Johnny’s parents apply cream twice daily and change his bandages – something he’s not particulary fond of.

“But he can play,” Wentworth said, “ and the pain is mostly gone.”

Johnny Wentworth has an older sister, Rachel, 12, and an older brother, Zachary, 11.

Wentworth said that his insurance took care whatever costs of the three-day hospital stay that the Shriners didn’t pick up, but the helicopter flight cost $20,000. That’s what the family is looking to offset through proceeds from the spaghetti supper on Saturday, May 21, at the church where Wentworth’s father pastors, First Parish Congregational Church in Pownal.

“It’s all being done by the church,” Wentworth said. “It’s really humbling. We’re all very thankful.”

 

A closer look

A spaghetti  dinner will be held Saturday, May 21, at 5 p.m., at the First Parish Congregational Church, 422 Hallowell Road, Pownal. The menu includes spaghetti, salads, fresh rolls, choice of desserts and beverages. A free-will donation is appreciated. All proceeds will go to helping to offset the Johnny Wentworth medical costs.