Deputies rally to support boy with serious burns - KCTV5

Deputies rally to support boy with serious burns

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Alex in his hospital bed Wednesday Alex in his hospital bed Wednesday
Deputies, paramedics visit burned boy and deliver iPad to his hospital bed Deputies, paramedics visit burned boy and deliver iPad to his hospital bed

A young boy is spending three months in a burn unit and some Bates County deputies, business owners and residents came together to offer aid to the child during his tough time.

Alex Dewey, 9, was grateful when two Bates County Sheriffs Office deputies and two paramedics delivered Wednesday morning an iPad to his hospital bed at the University of Kansas Hospital's burn center.

"He just said thank you and gave a huge smile," Cynthia Matteson, the boy's grandmother, said.

On June 23, Alex was visiting his brother at his Bates County home. Some of them were working on a go-cart when his grandmother said a freak accident caused it to catch fire.

The flames and fuel caught Alex's clothes on fire. He suffered burns over half of his body.

Deputies Andrew Newman and Payton Wilson and paramedics Ben Strauch and Jerret Reno were by his side as they waited for a medical helicopter to arrive and whisk Alex to a Kansas City area hospital. The four men wanted to take his pain away, but they couldn't.

They began to brainstorm ways to help the boy.

When they found out that he would be stuck inside the burn unit for three months, they realized he would miss playing video games. So they asked the community for donations and get-well notes on cards. They were thrilled with how the community came together to help the boy.

"It tugs on our hearts," Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson said. "Most of us have kids. We take this job to do something good for our community."

Walmart provided a 30 percent discount while Adrian Bank and Douty's Auto Service also donated funds.

"I'm proud to be part of Bates County," Stacey Douty said. "Everybody pulled together for this little boy."

Altogether, the first responders were able to raise almost $600, which they used to buy the buy an iPad Mini 3 and an iTunes gift card. They also gave money to the family to help cover their costs of traveling to and from the hospital.

Hundreds of people have sent him get-well cards. Nearly 200 were delivered on one day.

Matteson said the support means so much to her, her grandson and their family. She said they want to thank them in person when he is out of the hospital.

"I wanted to cry but I know that makes Alex cry if I cry," she said. "People are just so wonderful that they can take time out of their lives without even knowing this little guy."

While he faces a difficult road ahead, he is on the mend in part due to wonderful first responders and the KU Hospital staff.

"Overall he is doing fairly good," she said. "Just a lot of . . . pain and a lot of sadness."

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