Warning: Story contains graphic images of severe burns.
On December 11th I had planned to grab lunch with Viliyan and our other friend Stacy. It was supposed to be a regular Sunday for me, when I received a panicked call from Viliyan saying he had been severely burnt on his face, right hand, inner thighs and calves while doing car repairs for a friend. The extra panic in Viliyan’s voice was that he knew that he didn’t have the money to go see a doctor and that the hospital would not see him unless it was a life threatening circumstance. In his own self-sufficient and stubborn style, he insisted on avoiding the hospitals as long as he could, but after talking to nurses and doctors that I knew, it was a matter of time before the large swaths of second degree burns he had became life threatening. Eventually he called an ambulance and was rushed into emergency care with advanced dehydration, severe pain, and a steadily worsening health. A few hours later he would come to realize that he was on a long, painful and costly path to recovery. His right hand had received the worst burns, 2nd degree, almost 3rd degree burns.