The experiment involving isopropyl alcohol exploded at the young boy's home.
12-year-old Barrett McKim from North Carolina always loved to learn, especially when it came to science. Unfortunately, Barrett, the second of five children to Kyle and Caroline, McKim experienced second and third-degree burns when his science experiment exploded at home. The incident took place on June 23 and was a result of isopropyl alcohol being ignited. "Barrett has a love for science and has performed many experiments," the boy's uncle, Stephen Schlautman, wrote on GoFundMe. "He is known for being cautious, as evidenced by the goggles he was wearing while performing the experiment."
The family's GoFundMe page has raised over $119,150 for medical expenses so far. Schlautman added on the GoFundMe that the boy's mother Caroline "sustained terrible burns on both hands" but managed to save the boy's life. "She called 911 and continued to spray water on Barrett until the ambulance arrived. Barrett was flown by helicopter to the Augusta burn center, where doctors say that he must have many surgeries involving skin grafts. Caroline has an equally daunting prognosis. The hospital will be home for Barrett and his parents for weeks, if not months!! Praying that the Lord will continue to heal skin…and that all will be amazed by healing that is beyond what they think is humanly possible."
12-Year-Old Boy Suffers Severe Burns After Science Experiment Explodes: 'We Are Praying' https://t.co/sit2f3Je5W— People (@people) July 8, 2022
Doctors have told the family that the young boy has burns on 50 percent of his body out of which 20 percent are third-degree burns, and 30 percent are second-degree burns. Barrett's father, Kyle, told WLOS that his son's experiment involved a Bunsen burner, a tool typically used in laboratory settings. Barrett was using isopropyl alcohol as an accelerant to get some extra heat. The experiment involved testing things that would cause it to spark and change colors. "Alcohol was in the mix," he explained. "Somehow in that process, that got ignited and kind of blew up and back into his face."
"Fortunately, he was wearing protective glasses, which certainly helped, but he was wearing a synthetic shirt, which ended up being a real contributor in the fire staying and trying to get that off as it kind of melted away with the accelerant on there," he continued. Kyle is thankful that his wife was around and called her a "hero" for helping to save Barrett's life following the explosion. "Caroline, although she's yet to believe it, is a hero," he told the outlet, "and I think a lot of the reason Barrett is alive." He added, “We’re very grateful the Lord protected him and he’s alive. We continue to pray for healing for his little body and his future. We know God has a real purpose for him.”