Teen girl dies of burn in­juries from wild­fire

Imperial Valley Press - - NEWS -

REDWOOD VAL­LEY (AP) — A teenage girl died in a hos­pi­tal three weeks af­ter she was se­verely burned in a fire that tore through Men­do­cino County, rais­ing the num­ber of those killed in the state’s wild­fires this month to 43.

Kressa Shep­herd, 17, died Sun­day night at a Sacra­mento hos­pi­tal, her aunt, Mindi Ramos, said Mon­day.

Doc­tors at Shriners Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren no­ticed Kressa did not reg­is­ter pain dur­ing a change of the dress­ing on her burns, Ramos said. Af­ter per­form­ing a CAT scan, they de­ter­mined she was brain­dead, the aunt said.

“They kept her alive so we could say good­bye and even­tu­ally stopped the ma­chines that were as­sist­ing her,” Ramos said.

A neigh­bor found Kressa, who was a ju­nior at Ukiah High School, and her mother ly­ing on the ground out­side their home in a ru­ral neigh­bor­hood in Redwood Val­ley. Both had more than half their bod­ies burned.

Kressa’s brother, 14-year-old Kai Shep­herd, was found dead. He among the youngest who died in the wild­fires.

First re­spon­ders found their fa­ther, Jon Shep­herd, sep­a­rately, on the moun­tain. He was also badly burned but alive.

The Shep­herds ap­par­ently tried to out­run the flames as the home their fa­ther built burned down.

Sara, 40, and Jon Shep­herd, 44, re­main hos­pi­tal­ized and have gone through sev­eral graft­ing surg­eries.

Sara had burns in over 60 per­cent of her body and is at UC Davis Med­i­cal Cen­ter, in Sacra­mento. Jon was burned over 45 per­cent of his body and is hos­pi­tal­ized in sta­ble con­di­tion at St. Fran­cis Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal’s burn unit in San Fran­cisco, Ramos said.

Her sis­ter and broth­erin-law are con­scious but only talk in whis­pers, she said. They have not asked ques­tions about what hap­pened, Ramos said.

“We don’t know how much they re­mem­ber from that day. But we were ad­vised to not give them the tragic news about their chil­dren un­less they ask,” Ramos said. She said her fam­ily is stay­ing strong for her sis­ter.

This un­dated photo pro­vided by Irma Mu­niz shows the Shep­herd fam­ily, Jon, Sara, and their chil­dren, Kressa, and Kai. IRMA MU­NIZ VIA AP

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