Bethany boy, 8, returns home after seven-year stay at care facility

Fletcher Burns, of Bethany, is finally at home after a seven-year stay at The Children's Center in Bethany. The 8-year-old Bethany boy had been under the hospital's care since shortly after having heart surgery when he was 10 months old.
BY SARAH HUSSAIN shussain@opubco.com Modified: April 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm •  Published: April 25, 2013

So on Feb. 4, Fletcher went home.

“He has thrived at The Children's Center, I mean he has thrived,” Denise Burns said.

Fletcher received speech, occupational, physical and music therapies at the center as well as going to school for one hour a day from the time he was 3 years old. He continues to visit the center twice a week for therapy.

“He's a special kid,” said Travis Doussette, communications director for The Children's Center. “There are a lot of people here that love him.”

Fletcher mainly uses sign language, but can communicate with people who are around him a lot and can understand what he is saying.

“He knows all of his sight words, he can spell, he can count, knows all of his colors, he knows them in sign language, to say them out loud and to see the word, he's got it going on,” his mother said.

Fletcher does not walk, but does scoot around the house and can sit up on his own.

“He doesn't have fear,” Denise Burns said. “When he runs out of cord, we just push the ventilator to where he wants it.”

Fletcher has two sisters, Kayleigh, 19, and Maddie, 11. Maddie also attends Bethany Elementary.

“I can't believe that I get to take them to the same school, I didn't think that would ever happen,” Denise Burns said.

The Burns were nervous about bringing Fletcher home, but say the past two months have been a blast.

“Us all sitting at the dinner table for the first time was amazing,” Burns said. “That was huge to our family, eating dinner together. The ordinary things are the things we didn't ever get to do because we had extraordinary circumstances.”

Denise Burns looks forward to more family moments, such as attending graduations and weddings.

“I don't really see anything negative; I just think it's going to get better each day.”