Northwest Florida

Flick of a cigarette engulfs young biker in flames; now recovering in virtual reality

MOBILE, AL (WKRG) - A Milton man who caught fire in a freak accident on a motorcycle earlier this year is nearly pain-free, but he's says, it's not thanks to painkillers.

He says, virtual reality has distracted him from the pain.

In late January, Caleb Dunn, 24, was riding his motorcycle near Pensacola when someone in the car ahead of him flicked a cigarette out of the vehicle's window. Deen says the cigarette flew into his clothes and rolled down his back behind his sweatshirt.

The lit cigarette ignited his shirt, engulfing him in flames atop his motorcycle.

"It happened so fast," said Dunn at USA Medical Center in Mobile, where he was taken after the accident.

Dunn suffered massive third-degree burns to his back, stomach, sides and arms.  He says the pain was unbearable, at first.

USA's Burn Center, recently ranked best in the nation, recently received a virtual reality system they're using exclusively with burn victims.  Doctors say virtual reality is so immersive that it fully captivates the senses and stimulates the mind past thoughts of pain.

 

 

In other words, it's so real, the patients forgets they're laying in a hospital bed, and more importantly, forgets the immense pain they should be experiencing. 

"It's definitely a distraction," said Dunn of his virtual reality treatment. "You're thinking about the game, how to operate it, how to win the game, it's definitely a distraction. It takes your mind into another world, literally."

A GoFund me page has been setup with the pledge of helping Dunn with his medical expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/support-caleb-dunn

There will also be a Poker Run to benefit Caleb on Sunday starting at 10:30am.  You can find more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/204852310094941/

 

 


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