Woman, who badly burned herself after jumping in a geyser at Yellowstone, suffers recovery setbacks


The sister of a dental assistant who was horrifically burned after jumping into a 190-degree Yellowstone geyser to try and save her puppy has revealed her sibling has suffered a setback in her recovery after she went through four skin grafts. 

Laiha Slayton, 20, has been in a medically-induced coma at an Idaho hospital since the October 5 incident in which the Washington woman suffered burns to 90 percent of her body – half of which are third-degree, with the remainder second-degree.

Laiha’s sister, Kamilla Slayton, gave a brief update on Tuesday, noting that her sister’s recovery has suffered a setback at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

‘So we sadly took a few steps back today. The uncovered part of her torso that they thought was looking really well from the recell was not as well as they’d like it to be,’ Slayton posted on her Instagram. 

‘So they cleaned that and added some cadaver skin in a few places. The cadaver skin on her legs did not take well it was melting (so necrotizing) they had to remove that and scrape down to the fat again so we’re starting all over and add some new cadaver skin.’

Laiha Slayton, 20, (left) and her father (right), Woodraw, 48 at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where Laiha is still in a medically-induced coma after recently suffering from skin growth-related complications 

The sister did report a bit of good news, saying doctors were able to put in a  tracheotomy with no issues. 

Doctors also took some sample skin from Laiha’s neck and are working to grow ‘more compatible’ skin for her.

‘I am sorry I haven’t had more updates recently but this is going to be a long and harsh process. Please continue to pray, share and donate!!! #laihastrong,’ the sister posted. 

Previously, Kamilla revealed the palms of Laiha’s hands had been burned off by the scalding geyser water after she jumped in after her Shih Tzu puppy, Rusty, who later died from his injuries.

Kamilla has not been able to see her sister since the incident because the hospital is only allowing their parents visitation privileges in an effort to prevent infection.

Two weeks ago, she told DailyMail.com that the process has been difficult for their family but ‘we will make it past this.’

Kamilla also shared that her father — who pulled Laiha and her puppy out of the spring — has made a full recovery from his injuries and is back at work in Ohio, where the Slayton parents reside.

Laiha Slayton, pictured two week, remains in a coma after being scalded in a Yellowstone geyster, and has suffered second and third-degree burns to 90 percent of her body

Laiha Slayton, pictured two week, remains in a coma after being scalded in a Yellowstone geyster, and has suffered second and third-degree burns to 90 percent of her body 

‘My dad is doing good,’ she previously said. ‘He only suffered from blisters on his left foot when his foot slipped in. He is treating them with antibiotics and some other medicine, but he will be completely fine.’

A GoFundMe page was created to help the family with medical expenses and cremation services for the puppy, and is seeking to raise $200,000. Kamilla told DailyMail.com that Laiha does have medical insurance, but it will not cover the cost of all her treatment.

Laiha will continue to most likely go through multiple debridement surgeries, which involves the removal of damaged tissue or foreign objects from a wound, over the next few weeks.

However, her doctors said she was likely spared more serious injuries after her father, Woodrow, 48, pulled her out of the scalding water after just eight seconds.

Woodrow — although injured — drove Laiha to West Yellowstone, Montana, to seek help, from where she was flown by helicopter to the burn unit at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.

Laiha is pictured with Shih Tzu puppy Rusty, who she jumped in to try to save. The pup later succumbed to his burns, with Laiha still unaware of his death

Laiha is pictured with Shih Tzu puppy Rusty, who she jumped in to try to save. The pup later succumbed to his burns, with Laiha still unaware of his death  

Kamilla said her father had ‘acted on instinct, adrenaline’ and saved her sister’s life.

‘He heard the puppy screaming for its life with every bit of air it had in its lungs then watched his daughter nearly kill herself to save her dog, then injured himself while rescuing her,’ the post read.

‘He went to the vet before he could go to the hospital, he knows how close Laiha holds those damn dogs to her heart, and he wasn’t able to see her because of all the work they were doing to her.’

Kamilla said her father was brokenhearted to learn Rusty’s passing, ‘knowing that Laiha made this sacrifice.’

Heroic father Woodrow Slayton (pictured with his wife) was suffering from a burnt foot while driving Laiha's puppy to the veterinarian in a bid to save its life

Heroic father Woodrow Slayton (pictured with his wife) was suffering from a burnt foot while driving Laiha’s puppy to the veterinarian in a bid to save its life

Rusty, the Shih Tzu puppy, was taken to a veterinarian but did not survive from its wounds

Rusty, the Shih Tzu puppy, was taken to a veterinarian but did not survive from its wounds

Laiha and Woodrow had stopped for a visit at Yellowstone National Park on October 5 and had parked 20-30 yards away from Maiden’s Grave Spring, next to the Firehole River, according Kamilla.

The family’s two Shih Tzus, Rusty and Chevy, were wandering around nearby while Laiha was looking for their leashes in the car.

Rusty suddenly got his foot burned by a small leak from the geyser that flows into the river. The dog then panicked and fell in to the spring while Woodrow was trying to gain control of Chevy.

Laiha jumped in to the thermal spring – which can reach temperatures of 190-degree Fahrenheit – in a bid to rescue her one-year-old puppy, and then had to be rescued herself by her father.

Kamilla wrote that ‘Chevy is definitely missing his mom but is happy to see my parents when he can’ in an update posted on October 11.

She continued: ‘We still need all the prayers and shares that we can possibly get! The Slayton family is going to have to go through a lot more then just medical bills and this is only the beginning to Laiha’s story.

‘God bless everyone who has supported and helped Laiha and my family and thank you to the hospital staff and the Idaho community for being so welcoming and kind to my family.’

Maiden's Grave Hot Spring flowing into the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, where Laiha and her dog reportedly fell into and suffered burns on October 5th

Maiden’s Grave Hot Spring flowing into the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, where Laiha and her dog reportedly fell into and suffered burns on October 5th

The incident happened at Maiden's Grave Spring, north of the famous Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

The incident happened at Maiden’s Grave Spring, north of the famous Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming 

Donations have been pouring in to the GoFundMe page organized by the Slaytons. As of Tuesday morning, more than $73,100 out of a $200,000 target has been donated to Laiha’s cause.

Yellowstone National Park officials have also posted about the incident on their Facebook page after the accident, and warned visitors to stay away from the hot springs.

Their post read: ‘The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features.

‘While in the park, protect your pets by physically controlling them at all times. Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.’

Laiha (pictured) was taken to hospital in Idaho by helicopter after her father drove her to West Yellowstone, Montana, to seek help

Laiha (pictured) was taken to hospital in Idaho by helicopter after her father drove her to West Yellowstone, Montana, to seek help

Laiha seen with her two Shih Tzus that were involved in the incident: Chevy and Rusty

Laiha seen with her two Shih Tzus that were involved in the incident: Chevy and Rusty

Woodrow (center), 48, saved daughter Laiha (left) from a thermal spring eight seconds after she went into to rescue her puppy last Tuesday. Kamilla is also pictured (right)

Woodrow (center), 48, saved daughter Laiha (left) from a thermal spring eight seconds after she went into to rescue her puppy last Tuesday. Kamilla is also pictured (right) 

Laiha is the second woman who burned herself in a Yellowstone thermal feature in recent months.

On September 16, a 19-year-old woman—a concessions employee at the park—from Rhode Island suffered second and third-degree burns to 5 percent of her body after falling into thermal water near the world famous Old Faithful geyser.

Due to medical privacy laws, it is unknown exactly how many visitors have been injured from ignoring the cautionary signs.

In October 2020, a three-year-old suffered second-degree thermal burns to their lower body after running from a designated trail and slipping and falling into a small thermal feature.

In May of the same year, a visitor who entered the park illegally while it was closed due to the Covid pandemic also ended up falling into a thermal feature while backing up to take a photo at Old Faithful.

Since the park’s establishment in 1872, there have been around 20 reported deaths due to some sort of interaction with park thermal areas.

Slayton is the second person who has suffered severe burns in a Yellowstone (pictured) thermal feature in recent months

Slayton is the second person who has suffered severe burns in a Yellowstone (pictured) thermal feature in recent months

Around 20 people have died due to some sort of interaction with park thermal areas since the park's establishment in 1872, according to the USG

Around 20 people have died due to some sort of interaction with park thermal areas since the park’s establishment in 1872, according to the USG

That number is significantly higher than the eight deaths over the same period due to encounters with grizzly bears, the United States Geological Survey reports.

The most recent fatality at the park came in August 2000, when one person died and two others suffered severe burns after falling from a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

Yellowstone has more than 10,000 thermal features, which can be as hot as 280 degrees Fahrenheit (138 Celsius).

The national park was briefly closed in May 2020 due to COVID reasons, but National Park Services reported that it has hosted 483,159 recreation visits in May 2021.

It’s an 11 percent increase compared to May 2019 (434,385 recreation visits) and the park’s most visited May on record.

So far, there have been more visitors coming to Yellowstone in 2021 than over each of the last three years. National Park Services reported that Yellowstone has hosted 483,159 recreation visits in May 2021 — an 11 percent increase compared to May 2019 (434,385 recreation visits) and the park’s most visited May on record

So far, there have been more visitors coming to Yellowstone in 2021 than over each of the last three years. National Park Services reported that Yellowstone has hosted 483,159 recreation visits in May 2021 — an 11 percent increase compared to May 2019 (434,385 recreation visits) and the park’s most visited May on record

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk