Girl injured by firework plans big donation for Nebraska Medicine

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 20:24:52-04

Dozens of people were treated for fireworks injuries at Nebraska Medicine during Fourth of July celebrations this year.


One little girl and her dad who were badly burned, returned home with a desire to do more to help kids being treated at that hospital.


"She was on fire for about 5 seconds before I could track her down, get her on the ground, and roll her around," recalls Todd Bertucci.


On July 1st, a faulty firework at a neighborhood display exploded into the crowd between 7-year-old Paige and her father Todd.


Paige spent 11 days at Nebraska Medicine undergoing skin grafts for 2nd and 3rd degree burns covering 10% of her body.


"The day of the surgery is always a little bit scary for a 7 year old," said Todd.


Those fears were eased by specialists at the Child Life Program, which helps children going through traumatic events at Nebraska Medicine.


"They brought her games, they brought her iPads.  They brought her movies.  Anything that would distract her.  Anything that would keep her calm.  All the things that we want for our kids when they're scared," explained mom Kelly Bertucci.


The support continued when Paige got home.  Neighbors and friends put up banners, chalk messages, and a giant greeting from Card My Yard, courtesy of Paige’s brother’s basketball team.


"They send messages, kind of like, in a big way.  It was a very exciting thing for Paige to see when we all got home from the hospital that night," said Kelly.


Now at home, Paige is recovering fast...


"My skin's growing through; you can see it now!" she exclaimed.


...and wants to give back to the Child Life Program with the help of Card My Yard.


"We basically got it going until the end of the month.  All the orders in Paige's name, 20% of those orders are going to give back to Child Life," explained Alisa Pinkerton, owner of Card My Yard Omaha, and a good friend of the Bertuccis.


When all the donations are collected, Card My Yard will take Paige on a shopping trip to buy games and toys for the kids in the Child Life Program.


"They just hashtag Love Our Paige and we'll know that that order goes to the donation drive."


To donate to the Child Life Program in Paige’s name, you can visit the Nebraska Medicine donation page here. Select "Child Life" as the area your gift will go to, and click on “Tribute” with the name Paige Bertucci.


You can also order from Card My Yard here, and put #loveourpaige in the special instructions field.