Explosion victim 'doing really well'

By James Fuller of the Bay of Plenty Times -
A man is in Taurangas Hospital Intensive Care Unit, after a wood burner in the kitchen exploded in front of him. Photo / John Borren
A man is in Taurangas Hospital Intensive Care Unit, after a wood burner in the kitchen exploded in front of him. Photo / John Borren

A Papamoa man who was caught in a massive chip-heater hot-water tank explosion has emerged from a coma and is "doing really well" says his wife.

Aaron Seymour, 39, was put in an induced coma at Tauranga Hospital after Thursday's explosion at the Range Rd home he shares with wife, Trudie, and their two young children.

The explosion blew out windows, demolished the oven and caused serious damage to the inside of the house.

"The hospital staff couldn't believe how he has come out of it," said Mrs Seymour.

"He's doing really well. He's stable and they've just got to get the pain under control. He's not getting much sleep because of the pain but he's going to be okay."

Mrs Seymour said there was a possibility her husband may have nerve damage in one arm, but Aaron, who has a fractured neck, had movement in both legs.

"His other arm is okay and there is no spinal damage," she said. "There are four full-thickness burns but he won't need skin grafts. They should heal on their own. The sight in one eye is a bit blurry but he had some grit in that. He has stitches in one eyelid but he has basically come out of it really well."

Mr Seymour has undergone two surgical procedures on a large wound on the side of his neck.

"They went for the second surgery because they thought there was some more shrapnel in there but it turned out to be bone fragments from his neck," she said. "It's still just an open wound but it missed all the major arteries and that's the important thing.

"I'm just very, very relieved and happy. The support from friends and neighbours has been incredible. We've had dinners being delivered, people popping round to offer help. It's been amazing. I also want to thank the staff at Tauranga Hospital who have been fantastic."

Mrs Seymour had been talking to her husband but said he did not yet understand the gravity of the explosion.

"He doesn't really remember what happened. He has asked me what we're going to do about the chippy. I haven't shown him a picture of the kitchen yet. I don't want to overload him. I just want him to concentrate on getting better."

Mr Seymour remained in Tauranga Hospital ICU. It will be two months before he can return home.

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