Cards being collected for Rigby boy critically burned in lawnmower explosion


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Braxton Bigelow was critically burned when a lawnmower blew up at his home Monday. | Courtesy photo

RIGBY – Braxton Bigelow will turn 13-years-old on Monday and even though he won’t be awake for his birthday, family and friends want it to be extra special.

Braxton was fixing a lawnmower with his father, Josiah Bigelow, at their Rigby home last Monday when it suddenly blew up and caught Braxton on fire.

“A big fireball came out, and it ignited my nephew,” the boy’s aunt, Jorelle McClellan, said. “The gas came out from somewhere, like an explosion.”

Josiah ripped off his shirt, wrapped it around Braxton and took him to the ground to smoother the flames, McClellan told the newspaper. He then grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the lawnmower fire and rushed his son to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Braxton had severe burns on about 45 percent of his body and Josiah suffered severe hand and arm burns, according to the Blessings for Braxton Facebook page. Both were flown by air ambulance to the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City where Braxton remains in a drug induced coma.

“He is still in critical condition and each day (his family) has new worries and fears as he is fighting for his life,” a message on the a YouCaring page reads.

As the Bigelows prepare for Braxton’s 13th birthday, his family is collecting cards, posters and gifts for the boy.

“I’m hoping we can make him feel extra special by making his first teen birthday absolutely amazing!!!” Braxton’s aunt, Jessica Goldman, wrote on Facebook. “If you’d like to contribute, send Braxton something Alaska themed like a homemade card, a postcard, or poster. Alaska is a special place for our family because my dad loved it up there so much and it holds some of the fondest memories the grandkids have of going up there to fish with grandpa!”

Goldman says gifts are being accepted for Braxton “so that when he wakes up, he can be surprised with a big birthday blow out!”

The boy is expected to be in treatment in Utah for another 45 days and in recovery for a year. Family members have set up a YouCaring account to help pay for medical bills. Nearly $5,000 toward a goal of $10,000 had been raised as of Saturday evening.

“It is going to be a very long journey to get Braxton through recovery…Prayers and fasting have helped and I know God is watching over him and his family and comforting us all,” Goldman says.

If you’d like to send Braxton a card, poster or gift, the family asks that you use the following address:

University Guest House
Josiah Bigelow
110 South Fort Douglas Blvd
Salt Lake City, UT 84113