A 21-year-old Georgetown man is recovering from burns suffered at a bonfire in Harrison County last Friday.

Taylor Jenkins, son of Leandra and Tim Jenkins, has been at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment and surgeries for second- and third-degree burns over 26% of his body. Leandra said he had his first surgery Thursday and it went well. He has another surgery next week and then one three weeks later.

“The hospital here is amazing,” she said. “He is expected to recover, but it will be awhile with lots of therapy.”

Taylor is a student at Boyce College and studying to be a pastor. His faith and support the family has received has been helpful, Leandra said.

“The support has been overwhelming and amazing at the same time,” she said. “He has had lots of friends from youth group that he grew up with here come to visit. He participated in a Bible study the second day he was here. His attitude has been great.”

The injuries happened Friday as he was getting a bonfire going for a belated Fourth of July gathering because Leandra, a nephew and others had been on mission trips.

“The bonfire was not going well, and he was putting gasoline on another part of the fire when the fumes ignited and caused an explosion. He was never on fire,” she said. “I was at the house, and I’ve heard the bonfire start before and there usually is some kind of sound. But this one was different and I knew something was wrong. My oldest son was with me and I said that doesn’t sound right. I called Taylor and he didn’t answer, so I called another friend and he said Taylor was hurt.”

A friend put him in a truck and drove him immediately to Harrison Memorial to the emergency room. He was then sent to the University of Kentucky where he was flown to Cincinnati.

“It’s hard to see your child in pain, but we know this could be much worse. We have seen so many here hurt worse,” she said. “He has been praying for them while he can barely hold his eyes open. I’m encouraged by his faith and determination. We know God will use this to reach more people.”

Leandra said cards can be mailed to: Taylor Jenkins, UCMC, 234 Goodman St., Cincinnati, OH 45219, BSCU No. 7.

Steve McClain can be reached at smcclain@news-graphic.com.

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