PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- He's 35-pounds of pure cuteness. 3-year old Westyn Tudor has developed a special bond with doctors and nurses at the Valleywise Arizona Burn Center. A connection that was on full display Friday as staff members said goodbye to one of their favorite patients.
"This is the exact outcome that you would want," said burn therapist Andrea Martinez. "Something that can be so devastating as an accident, like a burn injury, and to see how he's progressed, it's what we do and why we are here."
Back in November, Westyn fell into a backyard fire pit at their home in Yuma. He was taken to a local hospital, then flown to Phoenix with 3rd-degree burns to almost half his body. His condition got even worse when he tested positive for COVID-19.
"There was a lot of stress on his lungs, and he went into respiratory failure several times," said Westyn's mother, Amy Green. "There were multiple times where we almost lost him, so it was very, very scary every time the doctor called - my heart dropped into my stomach."
But the little guy who loves cowboys and rodeos was determined to get better. In between Westyn's 20-plus surgeries and skin graphs, the happy-go-lucky kid rarely complained during physical therapy, always happy to share a smile and keep pushing forward.
"It was touch and go when he first got here," said Dr. Louis Ferrari. "It's a great relief to see him running around and laughing on the secure road to a very functional and infinite future."
Friday's going away party included a cowboy decorated cake and a visit from Westyn's favorite superhero, Spiderman, who could learn a thing or two from a kid who battled back from the brink of death.
"The motivation and determination he has is incredible," said Green. "He's been so resilient, and it hasn't affected him at all. He's still the happy little boy he was before."
Doctors said that Westyn will still require additional physical therapy and surgeries in the years ahead but should lead a normal life.