Family raise cash for woman left in a coma with horror burns after rescuing her pet dog from Yellowstone hot spring

By Gino Spocchia
Kamilla Slayton/GoFundMe

The family of a young woman who was badly injured after she attempted to rescue her pet dog from a Yellowstone hot spring have appealed for help with their medical bills.

Laiha Slayton, who was identified by her family on a GoFundMe on Tuesday, said they are facing medical bills they cannot afford following the incident, which occurred on Monday at Yellowstone National Park.

Officials said the 20-year-old, of Washington, jumped into a hot spring to rescue her pet dog from the thermal waters, which are as hot as 200F (93C). The dog, named Rusty, allegedly freaked out after touching a stream of hot water and ran into the spring.

Ms Slayton was rescued by her father and eventually taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Centre by helicopter, roughly 152.39 km (94.69 mi) from the hot spring, her family said on the fundraiser.

Doctors expect Ms Slayton to remain in a medically induced coma for several weeks, and could be in hospital for two months, with her sister Kamilla Slayton writing that she had burns on 91 per cent of her body.

“My sister’s palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too”, her sister wrote on GoFundMe. “She is in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks, [and] had emergency surgery”.

She wrote on Wednesday that it was “about 50/50 3rd degree burns and 2nd degree burns [and] she will be under for 2-3 weeks and probably be in the hospital for a few months.”

In an Instagram post, her sister went on to say that Rusty, the pet dog, died during the incident, and that Lailha would be heartbroken to hear the news when she wakes. A second dog survived and did not enter the hot spring at Yellowstone.

Their father was also injured in the incident, and suffered burns to his foot while pulling his daughter and the dog from the hot spring.

More than $26,000 (£19,000) has been raised on GoFundMe so far, which is more than half of the family’s goal.

“It’s clear with all the prayers, shares, and donations, that Laiha and Dad will undoubtedly have a support team rallied behind them,” wrote Ms Slayton’s sister in another Instagram post.

“Thank you Dad, I don’t know the right words to say, but thank you and I love you so much. You’re did an amazing job. You’re doing great keeping it together, even on the roughest days.”

She told East Idaho News that her family had suffered the death of her brother last year, and “when my mom got the call from my dad that my sister had been flown to the hospital, there are no words to describe that feeling”.

It was also reported that Ms Slayton was a dental assistant.

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