A 3-year-old boy hospitalized in San Diego after scraping his knee during a family camping trip – leading to a staph infection and double-amputation – had a wish come true this week: To see a fire truck.
Beauden Baumkirchner, of Lake Havasu, Arizona, is currently being treated at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. On Monday, the little boy got to leave his hospital room for a moment to greet some special guests.
Bundled in blankets and hooked up to medical equipment, Beauden rode a little red wagon. His parents, Brian and Juliana Baumkirchner, pulled the wagon as nurses followed.
Waiting out in front of the hospital’s main entrance was something that matched the color of his ride: A big, red San Diego Fire-Rescue Department engine.
SDFD Capt. Joe Amador and his crew stood in front of the engine. They were waiting for Beauden – there just to see him.
The boy was gifted with a Navy blue firefighter’s helmet and a toy replica of a fire engine. As his dad pulled him down the sidewalk, little Beauden waved at the line of firefighters.
His parents told him the firefighters had come to the hospital to visit him. He smiled.
Beauden’s mom, Juliana Baumkirchner, said the visit was a dream come true for her own little fighter.
Beauden has been at the hospital since last month. Juliana Baumkirchner said her son was intubated and asleep for two weeks.
When he woke up, one of the first things he asked for was “fire trucks.”
He kept asking for fire trucks and Juliana Baumkirchner said friends and family had been sending him toy fire trucks in the mail.
But on Monday, the real deal came.
The family was overwhelmed by the gesture of love from the SDFD.
Juliana Baumkirchner said the kindness of strangers has been a big part of the lives as Beauden begins his recovery.
“It just shows us the support that we’ve received from all over – from Arizona to the support we’re getting from strangers in California. We’re getting support from people all over the states, really,” Juliana Baumkirchner said.
“It’s incredible when you’re in such a dark place and you receive all this light from people, it really lifts you up,” she added.
Juliana Baumkirchner said Beauden would remember this moment through photos one day – and maybe it’s a sign of things to come.
“Maybe it’ll define his career,” his mom said.
Capt. Amador said that while Beauden may have been excited to see the fire truck and the SDFD crew, the firefighters were just as excited to meet the boy.
“We lit up, he lit up,” Amador said, describing the moment they saw Beauden. “We’re just happy to meet him.”
“We know he’s got a long journey ahead of him, but nothing could make us more proud to try to fulfill a little bit of the wish and maybe give him a little bit of happiness, for this day,” Amador added.
Beauden's Scraped Knee
Beauden and his family came to San Diego last month for a camping trip, NBC affiliate KPNX reported.
The boy was riding his bike when he fell and scraped his knee.
“He’s done that many, many times as any 3-year-old boy will do,” his father Brian Baumkirchner told KPNX.
The parents cleaned the scrape like normal and put a bandage on his knee.
Less than 48 hours later, the boy was at Rady Children’s Hospital, fighting for his life. Brian Baumkirchner said Beauden’s “whole body was shutting down.”
“They thought they were going to lose him, for sure, that night,” he told KPNX.
The boy’s scrape led to a staph infection that quickly spread through his body and caused a loss of blood flow in his limbs.
Rady Children’s Hospital said this led to both of Beauden’s legs being amputated, as well as several of his fingers.
In just six weeks, the boy has undergone more than 17 surgeries.
Rady Children’s Hospital said Monday that Beauden remains in the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and is doing well.
Beauden’s family has created an online fundraising page via GoFundMe to help raise money to cover the boy’s mounting medical bills.
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,700 people had donated to Beauden’s fund, raising more than $127,000 of the family’s goal of $150,000.