December 8, 2014. The day that everything changed
With the trauma helicopter, I was rushed to the Burns Center in Beverwijk. There I was admitted to the ICU, the so called Box 1. This was followed by a very worrying time for my family and friends but also for the surgeons and the nurses. I turned out to be burned for 68,5% of which 53% was third degree. Many surgeries followed and my condition remained critical. Mid-February I woke up and then it started for me. The painful dressing changes, repairing and re-learning everything. I was allowed to start eating again and received therapy from a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. Occasionally they used a hoist to put me on a chair. By the end of March I was discharged from the ICU into a regular room. The therapy continued because after such severe burns and no physical movement my body was capable of almost nothing. After a stay of 4 months and 8 days in Beverwijk, I left on April 16th 2015, to rehabilitation center “de Tolbrug” in-Hertogenbosch. That is when the rehabilitation really began. Daily physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hand therapy and more. I had to learn walking and moving again, but also daily activities like washing, dressing, talking, cooking and other household chores. My recovery went much faster than expected. 3,5 months later I was discharged from the rehabilitation center and I went home. To help with putting on the compression bandages I received home care and three times a week I had follow-up therapy sessions. On October 23rd 2015, I completed the process. All my goals were achieved. On December 10th, I was allowed to reduce my pressure garments and therefore I no longer needed the home care to help me get dressed.
Meanwhile, in the past year I underwent 25 surgeries and there will undoubtedly will be a number of surgeries to come, but nobody ever expected me to do so well. I still visit a skin and oedema therapist once a week who treats my scars and I also get physiotherapy and therapy for my hands.
Furthermore, I am very active in the association. I started drumming again at the Drum & Street Band Zuilichem and I am trying to resume my role in the forefront as a drum maître. I’m also playing the clarinet at “Harmonie de Karel”, where I also resumed my activities in the event committee. In addition, I started some courses and I’m going to do the management of the townhouse in Zuilichem.
I am Jayan van de Steenhoven, 31 years old and despite all my scares I feel stronger than ever! Not everyone gets a second chance, but I got this one, and I take it with both hands. I do not look back on what has been, but I completely focus on the future, enjoying all the little beautiful things in life and counting my blessings instead of my shortcomings.
What does not kill you makes you stronger ……