Donations still pouring in for burned girl

Posted June 30, 2010, at 12:21 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:54 a.m.

STACYVILLE, Maine — As an 11-year-old Stacyville girl continues her recovery in a Boston hospital from a serious accident, donors in her hometown and in other communities have nearly tripled the amount of donations they have given to support the girl and her family over the past two weeks.

More than $7,000 has been sent to the town office to benefit Allison Botting and her family, officials at the office said Tuesday. The figure is up $4,200 from what had been collected by June 12.

Botting was injured June 2 outside her home at 913 Station Road when a thunderstorm blew a tree down onto power lines and sparked a fire. According to emergency responders, Botting, her sister Ashley Paradis, 18, and their mother’s boyfriend, Terry Holland, had gone outside to look at the burning tree when it fell to the ground, dragging the power line down with it. The line fell on top of Botting and Paradis, striking the backs of their legs.

Holland broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder when he was thrown across the yard after touching the power line to try to get it off Botting. Paradis suffered blisters and burns on her legs and feet and was treated, along with Holland, at Houlton Regional Hospital.

Botting then was transferred to Shriners Hospital in Boston, where she remains a patient. She suffered second- and third-degree burns to her legs and has had more than a dozen surgeries to remove dead muscle and tissue from her severely injured leg. Doctors had to amputate her big toe.

Betty Campbell, the great-grandmother of Botting and Paradis, said Tuesday the 11-year-old is “slowly but steadily” improving.

“Some of her friends left town early this morning and they are in Boston right now,” she said. “It was a total surprise for Allison, and I am told she was just shocked and thrilled when she saw them. They were all crying down there when they saw each other.”

Nicole Botting, who is the mother of Allison Botting and Paradis, remains by her daughter’s side in Boston.

Campbell said that Botting is still undergoing surgery one or two days a week. In the first few days after the accident, doctors in Boston feared they might have to amputate the girl’s leg. Campbell said Tuesday that it looks like the amputation will not happen as long as infection does not set in.

Life has changed for the family in other ways, too. Paradis, who is still coping with her own injuries, graduated on June 12 from Katahdin High School.

Immediately after the accident, residents of Stacyville and surrounding communities began collecting money for the family. While care at Shriners Hospital is free, there are other medical costs associated with the accident, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses to be with Allison in Boston.

Craig Hartsgrove, who owns Craig’s Maine Course in Island Falls and Craig’s Clam Shop in Patten, held benefit suppers for the family at both restaurants earlier this month, raising approximately $11,000 for the family.

Last Saturday, members of the Island Falls Fire and Ambulance Department held a BBQ & Blues Benefit at the Island Falls Town Office. Joseph Levesque III, ambulance director for the Island Falls department, said Tuesday the event raised another $840 for the family.

Campbell said she and her family are “overwhelmed” by the generosity they have seen from others.

“People have been so wonderful,” she said Tuesday. “It’s just amazing.”

Donations can be mailed to the Stacyville Town Office, P.O. Box 116, Stacyville 04777. Checks can be made payable to Nicole Botting. Note in the memo line that the donation is for the Botting family.

Those who would like to send cards to Allison can mail them to Allison Botting, 84, Shriners Hospital For Children Burn Center, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.

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