14 October 2014
Ivan Petrovitch is finally home. The Palmyra man, who suffered third degree burns in a camper fire that shut down the eastbound lanes of I-64 on Aug. 25, has recovered remarkably quickly, and made his goal of being home by his birthday on Oct. 25.
The road to complete recovery, however, is not a simple or smooth one; he learned as he was discharged that the plastic surgeon now believes he needs repeat skin grafts on areas of his legs, and will need grafts on his left arm after all.
“We are going to try to find out more about the pros and cons on Monday,” said Petrovitch’s fiancée, Jennifer Adkins. “I think we are going to learn that although this seems like a setback, in the long run having the surgeries will likely speed up the healing process.”
In the meantime, Petrovitch is happy to be home with his fiancée and his dogs. “Oh my God,” he exclaimed, “I am super happy. I missed these two animals so bad - you have no idea. We are really attached here, the four of us - them two and me and Jennifer. When I was there in Health South, I was telling her that there were days that I had to look at their pictures in my phone because I missed them so much and was so homesick.”
Petrovitch credits “good genetics and stubbornness” for his quick recovery, and his fiancée concurs. “I think on some level he heard all of the things the nurses were warning me about, even when he was unconscious and we thought he couldn’t hear,” said Adkins. She said the nurses warned her that burn victims don’t want to eat, and don’t want to move and get up and walk. All of those things are integral parts of a good recovery. “I think on some level he heard everything they were telling me, because he was demanding to walk when it came time for him to do so. Even though it sometimes made him sick, he still ate every bite of food that they brought….he was very determined to get better.”