The family of John Harrison Doucet released a statement for Christmas thanking the Coast community for supporting the 20-year-old as he continues to recover from third- and fourth-degree burns he suffered four months ago at the Gulfport Yacht Club.
They also released the first photo of John Harrison to the public since the accident.
“Christmas is a time for families to come together and celebrate the birth of Jesus and be thankful for the blessings we all have in our lives,” reads the statement from John Harrison’s parents, Tommy Doucet and Ruthie McMullen. “On this Christmas, we would like to thank everyone on the Gulf Coast for the countless kind acts, gestures, and tremendous support for John Harrison Doucet.
“With everything that occurred in the past 4 months, the gift of life means more to us than it ever has before.”
John Harrison was parking his trailered sailboat at the Gulfport Yacht Club after taking his mother and her sisters out for a sail late one Sunday afternoon in September when a cable that supports the mast came in contact with an overhead power line. He was gripping the boat trailer and was shocked. He suffered burns to 75 percent of his body.
Since then, John Harrison has improved but also suffered setbacks. Both legs and then an arm had to be amputated. In early October, the family was thrilled when John Harrison was able to raise his arm. The week of Thanksgiving, he took a turn for the worse and was put back on a ventilator and kidney dialysis as he fought off multiple infections.
About a week ago, though, his family said he’d overcome the infections and was getting stronger. His second round of skin grafts was successful and he is regaining awareness of his surroundings.
“We believe that God has kept John Harrison with us because he has a plan for his life,” the family’s latest statement said. “John Harrison is so very thankful to be alive.”