The white surgical gauze and sore, pink skin on Chayse Bodily’s face made it impossible for the toddler, or his traumatized parents, to forget his ordeal.
The Bodily family, of Burley, Idaho, decided to reward themselves with a roast dinner after an afternoon of hard grafting on Sept. 9, 2018. They had just installed French doors, so mom Angela put a roast into the pressure cooker. When the meat was cooked, Angela set about removing the roast from the cooker while preparing to make gravy and add potatoes.
"It was just like a bubble formed and a bomb went off. It just went 'Boom!'"
Her sweet son Chayse hugged her left leg as she worked; neither mom nor baby had any idea of the horror that was about to unfold.
A bubble that had been forming under the roast suddenly erupted. Little Chayse was covered in molten food and boiling liquid; he received second-degree burns over 14 percent of his body. “It just shot up like a geyser,” Angela Bodily exclaimed, as reported by the Times-News. “I was in shock and I saw the baby slipping in it.”
The boy was badly burned after an escaping bubble in a hot pressure cooker spewed boiling food and liquid to the ceiling which then rained down on Chayse and his mother.
Angela’s husband, Travis, bore witness to the sudden, shocking event. He rushed his baby boy to the bathroom and tried to wash off the near-boiling liquid. “I could see his skin coming off,” Angela revealed, horrified. “The scariest thing you’ll ever see is the skin rolling off your baby’s body.”
Travis did as much as he could with a bucket of cold water before the terrified parents hot-footed their son to hospital. Chayse’s mother had barely noticed her own injuries; mercifully, her mature skin had escaped with only two burn blisters on her feet.
Emergency doctors flew Chayse to the Utah Burn Center with his mom. Chayse’s head was shaved so that medical staff could adequately clean and assess the extent of the burns, and his eyes were swollen almost shut.
Travis was hit hard by the sight of his baby son helpless and in pain. “It was just heartbreaking to see him like that,” he said. But slowly, as the medical team soldiered on, Chayse’s parents made the choice to turn from fear toward gratitude.
It could have been so much worse.
“You sit and listen to people’s stories,” Angela shared, recalling meeting the other patients at the burn center. “Sometimes,” she said, “they just need someone to listen.” Touched, the Bodilys decided to buy 200 DVDs and donated the entire haul to the burn center’s inpatients.
As their own baby boy, Chayse, returned home, Angela and Travis were faced with a new challenge; to learn how to change dressings and prevent Chayse’s scar tissue from tightening through tailored physical therapy. Chayse even began to sleep better and play at home, according to his dad.
“Now, we have to find creative ways to get a two-year-old to do things that he doesn’t want to do,” Angela lamented, after taking leave from her job as a deli clerk at Bobcat Corner to care for her son. Chayse’s nightmares persisted, however; the little boy was plagued by memories of his frightening ordeal and there’s no telling how long these scars will take to heal.
Unsure as to whether Chayse would need skin grafts in the future, the family opened a GoFundMe account to raise funds for mounting medical bills. As of August 2019, the fund has raised over $7,000 of a $10,000 goal.
Pressure cookers should always be handled with extreme care, especially around children. CNET advises four sensible safety tips for pressure cooker users; fill them to the recommended level, lock the lid securely, never open the lid to peek, and always keep a safe distance while your food is cooking.
Speaking to KSL-TV, Angela urged other parents to be cautious. “You’re in a hurry,” Angela empathized. “You’re trying to make dinner; you’re trying to multi-task because our lives get so busy.”
“Always be aware of where your children are.”