Local News

Kinston Burn Victim Takes 'Miracle' Trip Home

Posted July 25, 2003

— Jim Edwards is going home. His family says it is a miracle -- a miracle that he is even alive.

Jim was badly burned six months ago in the explosion at the West Pharmaceuticals Plant in Kinston. Friday, he left the hospital for the first time.

It was a moment he had been waiting for for half a year -- the moment he finally got to go home, even if only for one night.

"Yeah, I fel real good about everything," he said. "Yes, I'm going forward in my life."

Edwards was in the middle of that fire last January in Kinston.

"You know, my life flashed in front of me when the accident happened," he said. "If I was two feet closer to the explosion, I wouldn't be here today."

It has been six long months since the blast. Edwards said he has gone many nights without sleeping, "wondering if I was going to make it or not."

Edwards credits Dr. Bruce Cairns with helping to save his life.

Cairns said it was "touch-and-go" at times during Edwards' hospital stay," and not just once, but several times.

"His worst time, I think is when he first wakes up in the morning and realizes it is another day of darkness."

Jim is blind. He has had about 10 surgeries and faces many more. But he takes one step, one day, one moment at a time.

"One day," he said, "could be the rest of your life."

Edwards goes back to the rehabilitation center Saturday. He is just trying to get acclimated to life at home, so he's only spending one night.

Edwards said he is looking forward to visiting with his family in Kinston and playing with his cat. His family is planning a steak dinner for him.


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