With the holiday weekend upon us, one family is sharing their story as a warning for others after their 3-year-old son fell into a fire pit in the family's backyard.
Three-year-old Shane Dutton spent the last few weeks at Harborview Medical Center recovering from severe burns. On Friday, he got a chance to fulfill his dream: to be a state trooper.
Shane arrived at Harborview on June 10 as a burn victim. After becoming the most recent Washington State Patrol trooper, he made the rounds and told a patient about the accident.
"When I was running I accidentally fall over the bricks into the fire pit," said Shane.
Shane fell three feet into a fire pit in his family's backyard. The family has a safety wall around it and thought that was enough, but doctors say this time of year they see way too many of these injuries
Shane suffered second and third-degree burns. He endured a surgery and several skin grafts, but it has done little to dim his spirit.
"Tooper Shane" and State Trooper Brian Zillmer spent Friday cruising the halls at Harborview and visiting patients.
"We love him," said Harborview Burn Unit Director Dr. Nicole Gibran. "He's just the sort of patient the nurses don't want to let go. He's become a fixture at the nurses' station."
He's popular even among other patients.
"I think he's great.You have to have a lot of entertainment when you're in the hospital. So it's good to have him on the floor," said one patient.
The outlook for his recovery is good, and he will go home soon.
"It could have been worse. We feel blessed that it wasn't any worse," said his mother, Susan.
The family hopes by sharing their story; people will be careful this summer.
There's no doubt they're going to miss his face around Harborview, Despite what he's been through, he's still smiling, bringing joy and being Shane.
"He's healing well; he'll have some scars. He's a trooper. Not just a state trooper, but in life, he's a trooper," his mother said.