Boise & Garden City

Burned Boise brewer leaves Utah hospital

The Boise brewer burned last month in a workplace accident was released Tuesday from the University of Utah Burn Center, her sense of humor unscathed.

“The nutrition staff played a cruel joke by not informing me (until the last day) they have Cholula packets,” Kerry Thomas wrote on her Facebook page, referring to the spicy hot sauce from Mexico.

Kerry Thomas suffered burns to 30 percent of her body during the July 10 accident at Edge Brewing Co., where she works as the head brewmaster.

As part of what she called a “monumental day,” Thomas also wrote that she put on a pair of pants for the first time since the accident: a pair of leopard-print pajama bottoms.

“And I got released into local outpatient care!”

Thomas and her husband, Cory Thomas, are staying with a friend as she undergoes outpatient treatment. She is expected to remain in Utah for at least a couple of weeks.

On Monday, Thomas slept on her side for the first time since she entered the Salt Lake City hospital the day of the accident.

“Her donor site on the left thigh is healing well, so she can now roll onto that side, alleviating a little of the pain from her back, where she has a lot of exposed nerve endings,” Cory Thomas wrote in an update on the GoFundMe account established for his wife.

Nearly 500 people have contributed $27,419 to aid Thomas and her family with expenses. The fund has a goal of $100,000.

Thomas was burned from her shoulder to her foot while brewing Obligatory Double IPA. The accident occurred after she added hops to the boiling mixture and they bubbled out of the kettle.

She required skin grafts and has struggled through breathing difficulties, an irregular heartbeat and gastrointestinal issues, but she has maintained a positive attitude, Cory Thomas wrote.

“I believe her beautiful spirit and personality will leave a lasting impression on everyone in the Burn Unit at the University of Utah Hospital,” he wrote.

Recovery is expected to take a year or longer, he said.

Shortly before Kerry Thomas’ hospital discharge, doctors told her that patients with second- and third-degree burns on 30 percent of their bodies have a 66 percent mortality rate.

“I’m glad we didn’t know this statistic until today,” Cory Thomas wrote.

Nearly 250 people “liked” Cory Thomas’ Facebook update on his wife’s condition.

“Besides being tough and extremely positive, you are such a great example of how a positive attitude, prayer and a supportive family can beat the most horrific statistics,” wrote Beth Bechtel, CEO of Boise’s Bear Island Brewing.

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