Burn victim will spend months in hospital

First skin graft scheduled Friday
Dec. 12, 2013 @ 08:03 AM

A woman who was badly burned in a mobile home fire Tuesday morning in the Whitnel area will spend Christmas in the hospital, and may not be released for three months.

Megan Stanfield, 32, was in critical condition Wednesday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. A ventilator was helping her breathe but by today may have been removed, and she will undergo skin graft surgery on Friday, said her father, Jim Stanfield.

Employees at the Sonic Drive-in in Lenoir, which is owned by Jim Stanfield and his wife, Sharon, and where Megan Stanfield works, are taking up a collection of clothing and other needed items. Megan Stanfield's son, Joushua, meanwhile, is being hailed as a hero.

"I really think if it wasn't for him, she wouldn't have made it out," Jim Stanfield said.

Joushua, 8, awoke just before 3 a.m. Tuesday to the acrid smell of smoke and flames that were quickly engulfing the mobile home at 607 Jason Place. He began to holler for his mother, then held his breath, ran to the front door and kicked it open, Stanfield said.

Inside the burning mobile home, Megan Stanfield awakened and opened her door to find flames filling the mobile home. Not yet knowing where Joushua was, she tried to search in the smoke and heat for him, said her boyfriend Johnny Bumgarner, until she realized he was out.

"He started yelling 'Mama, mama!'" Bumgarner said. "She followed his voice out of the house."

Megan Stanfield made her way outside but suffered second- and third-degree burns on her head, hands and arms.

The family lost all their possessions, including Joushua's Christmas presents, which had already been wrapped.

"She had bought him some action figures and an Xbox," Bumgarner said. "Every Christmas present is gone. We still planned to get a tree, we just hadn't done it yet."

Also lost in the blaze was her 21-year-old Mexican red-headed parrot. Two of her three dogs got out safely, but one is still missing, Bumgarner said.

"It must have ran off or something," he said.

The cause of the fire had not been determined Wednesday. Two possible causes -- smoking materials or a candle -- have not been ruled out, Lenoir Deputy Fire Chief Ken Hair said.