PHOENIX — “Isla is not your average kid. She definitely goes above and beyond in everything she does,” said Alyssa Cook.
Justin and Alyssa Cook talked glowingly of their 10-year-old daughter Isla Cook. She’s a competitive gymnast who is using her strength on the mat to heal in the burn unit at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix.
“She’s very competitive. She wants to heal the fastest. She wants to do everything the best,” said Justin Cook.
What was supposed to be a family pool party turned horribly wrong when a propane tank caught fire.
“Started the grill like I’ve done many times before. Things very quickly turned into a tragedy,” said Justin Cook.
The fire burned Isla Cook over 45% of her body with second and third-degree burns.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 100 people a year, on average, end up going to the ER with burns after grilling accidents.
Isla Cook’s parents said that her fighting spirit and all of the support from the gymnastics community will help her fight.
There is even a “Flip for Isla” campaign on Instagram where gymnasts from around the world are rallying for her with gymnastic flips.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support,” said Alyssa Cook.
The family has also received support from other burn survivors, who Justin calls angels.
“They are the strongest people. I had to hear and go through their stories with them,” said Justin Cook.
Isla Cook has been in the hospital for over a week and has undergone two surgeries. After the second on Tuesday, and the family received good news.
“We were just told she’ll be spending weeks in the hospital instead of months,” said Justin Cook. “When we first got to the burn unit. They told us that her wounds were severe, and you should anticipate staying up to 10 months in the hospital.”
While she still has a long road of recovery ahead, the Cooks are taking it day by day. They said that they are grateful for the staff in the burn unit.
“We always knew she was a fighter and she’s defying all the odds. We’re severely grateful for it,” said Justin Cook.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with Isla's recovery.
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