Still the Same Rayne

Program helps burn survivors return to school with confidence

Rayne Newby and one of his teachers at schoolHaving been burned over 80 percent of his body in an explosion in a relative's backyard, Rayne Newby faced many transitions during his grueling recovery. From more than 100 days in the intensive care unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital to 100 more days in a hospital room, Rayne pushed through one dramatic transition after the next.

When Rayne returned home to Weatherford, he faced another difficult transition.

"When Rayne went back to school he had a hard time," said Carrie Larkin, Rayne's mom. "He's at a small school, and it was hard for many of the students to know what to say to him."

Parkland's Back to School program stepped in to help. The program is designed to help children and teenagers re-enter school with confidence and support by educating teachers and students about burn injuries. Sue Vanek, burn program manager, along with another nurse and a therapist, made a presentation to all of Millsaps High School explaining Rayne's injuries and recovery.

"We emphasized that even though he's had an injury, he's still the same Rayne," said Sue.

Carrie said the difference that the presentation made was remarkable.

"The very next day after the presentation, Rayne had a totally different, totally positive experience at school," she said. "The program is wonderful."

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