Little taking big steps toward recovery |

Little taking big steps toward recovery

by Dennis Webb
GSPI News Editor

Glenwood Springs resident Luke Little is recovering by leaps and bounds from burns suffered in an Aug. 6 gas explosion.

Luke, 22, has been weaned off a respirator. His pain medication has been reduced, he has become fully conscious and he has taken his first steps since the accident, his father reported.

“It’s just been unreal,” Greg Little said of his son’s recent progress.

“I walked in one day and started talking to him and his eyes opened up and it was like he was there again.”

Luke has been upgraded from critical condition to stable but guarded.

Within two days of regaining full consciousness, Luke was getting out of bed, and within a few more days he was walking as far as 100 feet.

Luke is expected to spend another week to 10 days in the burn unit at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. Then he will be moved to the center’s physical rehabilitation facility “for however long,” Little said.

Luke was burned over much of his body when he lit a cigarette lighter and accumulated gas exploded at his mother’s house in the Red Mountain neighborhood of Glenwood.

Little said many of Luke’s burns are already healed.

“The only thing they’re still concerned about is he’s still running a fever of 103-104,” Little said.

As Luke regains his mental faculties, he’s facing the psychological aspects of his wounds, his father said.

“He’s seen the wounds on his hands and arms, the grafts and everything. The first time they took the bandages off he just started crying,” Little said.

Due to Luke’s sinus infections, a bout with pneumonia and a history of seizures, doctors had been concerned about putting him under during a recent graft surgery, but he did just fine, Little said.

For Greg Little, Luke’s ordeal has been ironic. Greg Little was part of the Storm King 14 Committee, whose members served as local liaisons for the 14 families who lost firefighters in the Storm King Mountain Fire west of Glenwood in 1994. Now, he is being consoled by some of those families over the burns suffered by his son.

Little served as the liaison for Jan Bickett, whose daughter, Tamera Jean, died at Storm King.

“She calls me, oh jeez, probably every other day to see how things are going,” Little said.

Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516

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