Skip to main content

Meet Noah.

Six-year-old Noah Kelly finished Bible study at his Nashville church and asked to play soccer outside with his friends before heading home. As Noah’s mom, Rufta Aron, said goodbye to friends, Noah reached inside a bush to retrieve the soccer ball and touched a live electrical wire. One second. One-touch. Lives forever changed.

Noah received life-threatening electrical burns over much of his body. Noah’s friends all started screaming, “fire, fire,” but there was no fire. Noah’s mom began CPR, during which she pulled a melted wire out of his mouth.

Noah’s mom, her friend, and another church member took turns performing CPR, and finally got a faint pulse. The paramedics arrived quickly and tried to stabilize Noah before transporting him to his local children’s hospital. Noah’s mom had his shoes. They had melted. Everything smelled like burned wire. The Pediatric Emergency Department team quickly determined that Noah was burned over 40% of his body, particularly his right arm and hand, the back of his head and the entire back of his body.

It was the worst electrical burn they had seen. Noah’s burns were severe enough to require amputation of his right arm while he was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The burns to his head required the removal of dead tissue including his scalp and skull bone. It was about a week before Noah was stabilized in the PICU. After one month in the PICU, he was transferred to the Burn step-down unit where he stayed for more than three months.

Noah’s total hospital stay was 145 days—just shy of five months. People with severe burns may require a lifetime of procedures and physical therapy. Noah required about 15 skin grafts.

Today, Noah has a prosthetic arm, loves his dogs, music, superheroes and playing games. He also has an eclectic taste in food. He loves sushi and Ethiopian food. His mom says, “He’s not your typical 8-year-old.”