© Courtesy the Grice Family via Cr
Kim Grice, shown before and after her face caught on fire during surgery Tuesday to remove cysts in her head.
It was supposed to be a routine outpatient surgery to remove some growths from Kim Grice's head. But something went horribly wrong during the Tuesday morning procedure and a flash fire seared Grice's face and neck.
The 29-year-old mother of three was rushed by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Burn Unit with burns to her face and neck.
Grice's mom, who had been waiting in the lobby of the North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview, Fla., knew something bad had happened.
"At 8 a.m. two patients were back there," Ann Grice told the Crestview Florida News Bulletin
. "One was my daughter. At 10:20 emergency medical and the fire department pulled up and there was a fifty-fifty chance that they were coming through the doors for my daughter. I went to the desk and no one would tell me what was wrong
When hospital personnel finally explained that Kim's face had caught fire
, Ann was stunned.
"I am in shock," she told the Bulletin
. "This is not what happens with a routine outpatient surgery. She had headaches and the doctor was going to remove three cysts and biopsy them. But something went bad wrong and my daughter is now in a burn unit with burn specialists and I still don't know what happened. No one will tell me why or how this happened to her."
What happened to Kim Grice was not an isolated incident. Experts estimate that each year 650 fires flare up in operating rooms around the country. Some patients recover with scars and emotional damage. Some die from burns and smoke inhalation.