June 12, 2002
2:16 PM   Subscribe

A harrowing three part series about the recovery of a severely burned Phoenix police officer. While not for the squeamish, I haven't read anything as poignant in weeks.

Still, the doctor knew if there was a way to save him, this was it. He worked on, though his misgivings would not go away. "We're removing this guy's complete identity," he thought. "We're going to subject him to surviving this." Each doctor was thinking the same thing: If it were himself on the table, he'd rather die.
posted by machaus (10 comments total)
Thanks. Stories like this always get to me--every so often you need a reminder of how much harder life could be. Fitting that this happened in Phoenix, named for the original rebirth from flames myth.

There was a similar story on another paper's site about a young teen who was hit by a drunk driver and burned about this badly. Wish I could link to it, but don't remember the city.
posted by GaelFC at 3:33 PM on June 12, 2002

I will add to GaelFC's thanks for posting this series of articles.

I never cease to be amazed at the resiliency of people like Officer Schechterle!
posted by sillygit at 3:38 PM on June 12, 2002

Thanks for the post; as previously mentioned, it's a definite "wake up call" for the rest of us to count our blessings.

It's just mind-bogglingly frightening how one's life can change in the blink of an eye.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:59 PM on June 12, 2002

From the last sentence of the third and final article:

One day in March, almost a year after the accident, Suzie called Jason on the cell phone on his way to therapy. She had some news.

The test was positive. Their baby is due in November.

For those of you who read the three articles and know what kind of shape this guy's in, this has to be a real inspiration and also a pleasant surprise. The guy is actually getting some.
posted by Why at 4:25 PM on June 12, 2002

Thanks, machaus. Great link.

The link to the Phoenix police site on Officer Schechterle in section three of the story isn't working quite right -- they've left off the "l" in ".html" in the link. Here's the correct link in case you want to check that out.
posted by aine42 at 4:30 PM on June 12, 2002

I think the girl you are referring to is Jacqui Saburido (link found via Pineapple).
posted by sperare at 4:39 PM on June 12, 2002

Yes! Thanks, Kristin--that's it, and that's how I found it. Definitely worth checking out.
posted by GaelFC at 4:44 PM on June 12, 2002

Vanilla Sky
posted by Why at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2002

A fine and genuinely moving link--thanks.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:28 PM on June 12, 2002

Wow. What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing this one.

I'm wondering what kind of technology exists for people who have had severely disfiguring facial injuries. I mean, couldn't Hollywood special effects people create (based on old photos and so on) a durable rubbery mask for them to wear that would at least somewhat resemble what they looked like before?

Just pondering... maybe that would be something that they could wear at least on occasion (like in public), so they wouldn't suffer the stares from strangers quite so much or something. Of course it wouldn't be perfect, though.

If I were a gozillionaire, I'd happily fund research into this type of thing. Who knows, it might do some good for people who have suffered so much.
posted by beth at 2:08 PM on June 13, 2002

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