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John Harrison Doucet’s latest ordeal: ‘Especially painful’ skin grafts

John Harrison Doucet of Gulfport has been recovering from a Sept. 18 electrical shock accident that cost him his legs and one arm and burned much of his body.
John Harrison Doucet of Gulfport has been recovering from a Sept. 18 electrical shock accident that cost him his legs and one arm and burned much of his body.

Gulfport residents Tommy Doucet and Ruthie McMullen sent the Sun Herald further details Saturday on the condition of their son, John Harrison Doucet.

Doucet, 20, remains at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, recovering from an accident Sept. 18 at the Gulfport Yacht Club that required doctors to amputate his legs and one arm. He had been shocked by high-tension power lines when his sailboat’s mast cable made contact with the overhead lines.

His parents emailed the following update:

“The past couple of weeks have been especially painful for John Harrison. He has had ups and downs and we feel very fortunate that we are able to still be here by his side during his recovery due to the generosity of so many people and businesses. We thank everyone who has supported John Harrison and us.

“The doctors at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center made the decision to remove John Harrison from the dialysis machine, but that only lasted one day and they had to put him back on dialysis. His body needs to recover more before they will try it again.

“The latest development in his recovery is getting his skin back on. Skin cultivated from biopsies of his own skin in a special lab in Massachusetts was surgically placed Friday. He will be in a surgical ‘tent’ for five days while his body takes to the new skin. He will be wrapped and unwrapped to keep the proper amount of moisture in his new skin.

“Doctors were able to only cover about 70 percent of the surface area of the skin. They will add more skin in four weeks as more of his skin is grown in the lab.

“John Harrison was restless and in pain after this lengthy surgical procedure and the doctors are doing their best to manage his medications so as to relieve his pain, but also not make his blood pressure drop too low.

“Again, we can’t thank the Gulf Coast enough for your support of our son. If it wasn’t for everyone on the Gulf Coast, we would not be able to be by his side during his recovery. We would like to thank Friendly City Yogurt in Long Beach for their event coming up on Nov. 7, the Long Beach Car Show featuring Shane Lester from ‘Street Outlaws’ on Nov. 12, the Great Southern Golf Club John Harrison Doucet Tournament on Nov. 13 with a grand prize donated by the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, and the Ajax Seafood Kitchen & Bar for its Pig Roast and Shrimp Boil with silent auction.

“Finally, we can’t thank Ronny Richardson, Meghan Richardson, Noel Day and Elite Screen Printing enough for the special T-shirts they made and sold. We sincerely appreciate all the love and support and it’s really cool to see everyone wearing these T-shirts in support of John Harrison and his family.

“Please keep praying for us — we all need your prayers, but especially so for John Harrison.”

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