LATEST: Burned Fort Pierce-area girl fighting infections, family says


Even as well-wishers continued to raise money for her family, 14-year-old Layne Chesney fought infections this week as she recovered from burns suffered in a bonfire flare-up on New Year’s Eve.

Layne was at the home of a friend southwest of Fort Pierce when she picked up a can of gasoline to refresh the fire. The can exploded in her hands and covered her in flames, a St. Lucie County sheriff’s report said.

The friend, Hunter Holmes, 18, and his parents tried to smother the flames on the girl and also were burned.

All four were taken to Lawnwood Medical Center in Fort Pierce and later transferred to Kendall Regional Medical Center, west of Miami, where Layne has been treated for burns on 95 percent of her body. She was placed in a medically induced coma.

Hospital spokesman Peter Jude said Wednesday the girl remains in critical condition. He said Hunter Holmes was in fair condition and his parents, Robert Scott Holmes, 51, and Stephanie Holmes, 53, have been released.

“Layne has had a rough day, a Facebook page called “Prayers for Layne Chesney” posted overnight Tuesday.

“Her heart rate and blood pressure went up because of an infection,” the posting said. “She’s had a fever and the doctors are giving her antibiotics while they run tests to see what is causing the infection. Infections are a common part of this especially due to the severity of her burns. Her next surgery is scheduled for Friday. Please continue to pray for Layne. Thank you and God Bless!”

A posting from Monday evening said the girl had five hours of surgery to replace skin on much of her torso, “which will be an ongoing process that happens every three to four days. Also, today the doctors continued working on her face. As always, we thank you for your continued prayers and support for Layne.”

As of mid-morning Wednesday, a web page to raise $50,000 for the girl’s medical expenses had raised $30,240. A second web page said it had raised more than $49,000. The Woody’s barbecue restaurant in Sebastian also said it would collect money for the family for the next month.

Layne plays shortstop on the varsity softball team at Lincoln Park Academy, where she is in ninth grade. She also plays on a travel softball team, the Jensen Beach Wildcats, which won a national championship this summer.

Staff writer Jorge Milian contributed to this story.



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