Independence Day will never be the same for Jordan Aguilar.
While most people celebrate with fireworks, Aguilar avoids the pyrotechnic displays, choosing to stay indoors on the holiday. In July 2012, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time when a fireworks mortar tipped over at a party, burning her severely.
"The fireworks weren't correctly sorted. They were all mixed in together," said Aguilar. "When one was lit, they all went off unexpectedly, going everywhere."
She was rushed by ambulance to The University of Kansas Health System’s Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center, with burns covering nearly 20% of her body.
Aguilar suffered 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns extending from her left hand up to her shoulder blades and back and on both legs. She had a skin graft and a 17-day hospital stay that included intensive physical therapy to help her walk again.
"I was miserable," she said. "My injuries required extensive wound washouts and bandage changes. There's no way to describe how tremendous the pain is."