Landen Larkin was removed from a ventilator Wednesday morning and is now breathing on his own. But the hardest part of his recovery may still be ahead of him.
Landen is 12 years old, loves football and the out doors. Last Saturday, though, while at a friend's near Needville, he was critically hurt.
"It's really hard now to see him suffer," his mother, Marki Larkin said.
His mother says he was with two other friends who tell her they were near the remains of a campfire that had burned the night before. Like today, it was cold, and the boys decided to try and light the fire again. She says Landen poured gas on the remnants of that fire, not realizing that beneath the brush were embers that still burned.
"It ignited the gas can. The flame went into the gas can and exploded. Landen was thrown about 10 feet in the air," Marki said.
That was last Saturday. For four days, Landen has been in a medically induced coma, only waking up Wednesday after his condition improved enough for him to be removed from a respirator. He began breathing on his own and asking questions about what happened.
"He woke up today and he asked first thing, 'How long have I been here?' and 'Are the other two children OK?'" Marki said.
Larkin says the others are OK. Landen has second- and third-degree burns over 15 percent of his body, mostly his hands, face and ears. His mother is a teacher and hopes this can be a "teachable moment," that someone might see what happened to her son and learn from this so his pain is not in vain.
Larkin's mother wants to thank all the friends and neighbors have sent well wishes and donations.
Landen is scheduled for his first skin graft on Monday.
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